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Beading a pathway of artistry and advocacy

This story is part of a partnership between Bethel University’s journalism program and ICT.

Hannah Hunhoff
Special to ICT

As a 7-year-old, Lucie Skjefte embarked on the powwow trail and watched her mother, grandmother and aunties go to the Minnetonka moccasins stand to purchase a pair before walking into the grand entry. If one of the favorite women in her life didn’t have a handmade pair of moccasins on deck and needed a quick option for dancing, they would rely on Minnetonka.

Skjefte’s mother, Debra Dunkley (Skjefte), loved the fringe and leather that encircled her bootie-style Minnetonka moccasins. Skjefte remembered her mother throwing a shawl over her shoulders and racing into the powwow to dance with a smile on her face. This memory and vision would embolden Skjefte to partner with this same brand — Minnetonka — that had previously engaged in cultural appropriation by drawing from Native American fashion inspiration.

Nearly three decades later, Red Lake Nation Anishinaabe artist and designer Skjefte, 41, works to tell the story of her people and amplify their voices by participating in three different design collaborations with one of Minnesota’s largest footwear brands, Minnetonka. The goal is to combat cultural appropriation through redesigning the beading of one of Minnetonka’s best-selling and most-appropriated pairs of shoes: the 74-year-old Thunderbird moccasins. She is also creating a space for Native designers in the fashion industry by helping Native American-owned businesses launch their marketing strategy and brand identity at community development financial institution Mni Sota Fund.

“I always want to create something that is sharing a story, teaching something and shedding light, yet doing so in a good way,” Skjefte said. “If you want to undo something, you should want it to have a positive impact and not reinforce a negative narrative. I always try to approach it that way.”

Her Amikogaabaw’iban — her namesake — Amik O’Gaabaw (Larry Smallwood) gave her the Ojibwe name Bagwajiikwezance, which translates to “the one who walks her own path.”

Red Lake Nation Anishinaabe artist and designer Lucie Skjefte attends Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe fashion designer Delina White’s Native Nations Fashion Night on Thursday, April 25. This was an evening of spotlighting Native American fashion rallied around the theme of “messengers, protectors and great mysteries.” (Kathryn Kovalenko, special to ICT)

Through promoting Native American advocacy and strength in her educational journey, entrepreneurial pursuits, design partnerships and current nonprofit marketing efforts, Skjefte’s life story has embodied the meaning of her Ojibwe name and has been guided by a “creative light” that led her back to her artistry time and time again.

– – –

The trajectory of Skjefte’s artistry, design and advocacy found its footing on the grounds of Little Earth, which is a predominantly Native American, intertribal and low-income housing complex in South Minneapolis. However, the inspiration for her beaded designs is rooted in her Red Lake Nation homelands.

Skjefte was captivated by creative pursuits from a young age. In elementary school, she was awarded a large art set after winning an artwork contest in the Golden Eagles Youth Program at the American Indian Center — a program that encourages resiliency among Native American youth. She then started writing poetry for her school friends and later began designing creative lettering throughout her teenage years.

When she was 13, Skjefte opened a freshly-lined page in her latest book creation at a Minnesota camp called Camp Chi Rho and penned the following statement: “I want to be a police officer and a graphic designer.” When she entered ninth grade, Skjefte wrote the same statement in a high school binder. She said she wishes she never lost sight of this “creative light” — one that would indeed serve as her guide and lead her to re-embrace her creativity through art and design.

A decade after graduating from high school, the same creative light led Skjefte to achieve two different associate degrees from Minneapolis Community & Technical College and a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Advertising from Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Red Lake Nation Anishinaabe artist and designer Lucie Skjefte holds up a pair of moccasins from her first collaboration with Minnetonka called the Ziigwan Waabigwan moccasins. Skjefte drew inspiration from the history of created Ojibwe-style florals to design a tulip floral design. “Historically, Ojibwe women would create that from their own surroundings back then. And primarily they saw a lot of tulips, so my floral work is always centered around creating a tulip,” Skjefte said. (Devanie Andre, special to ICT)

In 2012, the same year she started her design program at MCTC before transferring to MCAD, she co-founded a grassroots organization called KWESTRONG Indigenous Women’s Wellness with her twin sister Lisa Skjefte. KWESTRONG centers on helping Native American women reclaim the outdoors as Native space. “KWE” translates to “woman” in Ojibwe. This new endeavor gave Skjefte the opportunity to design her first-ever branded logo. Since 2012, the twin sisters have hosted an annual triathlon full of running, biking and canoeing.

2012 also marked the year that Skjefte started her own graphic design freelance business called “luvequay,” which she initially coined as her username in 2007. Since the inception of her small business, she has invested 12 years into spearheading graphic design and social media work for members of the Native American community.

“I always want to create something that is sharing a story, teaching something and shedding light, yet doing so in a good way. If you want to undo something, you should want it to have a positive impact and not reinforce a negative narrative. I always try to approach it that way.” — Lucie Skjefte, Red Lake Nation Anishinaabe designer and artist

It wasn’t until after graduation that Skjefte uncovered a forgotten treasure: the binder where she wrote about her graphic designer aspirations in high school. Skjefte was walking in her calling, but this was just the beginning.

– – –

Skjefte’s work builds upon Minnetonka’s reconciliation efforts after nearly seven decades of appropriating Native culture in its moccasins.

Founded in 1946, Minnesota-based and White family-owned Minnetonka originally set out to sell “roadside gifts,” according to its company website. The brand later created non-appropriated accessories and slippers, but continued to sell an assortment of products derived from Native American cultures. Knee-high fringe booties, two-button boots, driving moccasins, sheepskin slippers, hard-sole styles and sandals all hit the American shopping market. But there was one moccasin style that audiences strongly resonated with in the 1950s: the Thunderbird moccasin. The leather shoes featured a red, white and black-beaded Thunderbird on the toe box of the shoe.

According to its history page, Minnetonka originally named its company after a well-known lake in Minnesota, Lake Minnetonka, but eventually made a discovery: Its name “means ‘great water’ in the Dakota language.

The StarTribune reported on Minnetonka’s road to reconciliation, which reporter Gita Sitaramiah said was ignited by the May 2020 death of George Floyd. This sparked deeper conversations about the issue of cultural appropriation in the company.

Before 2020, NPR noted Minnetonka removed the word “moccasin” from its logo in 2008. The word moccasin is derived from the Ojibwe word makizinan. Today, the private company goes by Minnetonka, and websites estimate the company has generated $37 to $50 million dollars in annual revenue. In the last five years, Minnetonka has continued its journey to cultural reconciliation with the guidance of Native American artists and designers like Skjefte.

Minnetonka is not the only brand that has engaged in cultural appropriation. “Ceremonial headdresses and Native American-style face paint” used to cover the faces of Kansas City football fans until a new NFL rule prohibited fans from entering the Arrowhead stadium with any headdresses or face paint mirroring Native American traditions. Dutch fashion designer Kitty van Coesant has used the Navajo word for beautiful, “nizhoni,” as the face of her brand. In 2022, Ralph Lauren designed jackets that closely mirror artistic visions and styles of Mexican Indigenous communities of Contla and Saltillo.

Native cultural appropriation is still visible across many industries, including in the global automobile industry, which is currently worth over 2.56 trillion dollars.

Professor of Media Studies at Oklahoma Baptist University and citizen of Cherokee Nation Dr. Gary Rhodes has publicly combated Jeep’s use of Cherokee for its SUV line. His writing on this topic can be found in a number of media outlets, such as The Washington Post.

But outspoken advocates such as Rhodes have seen some brands take responsibility at the local and national level, such as the Chickasaw Library System — located in Chickasaw Nation — changing its name. Brands in the tobacco industry and sports industry, such as the Washington NFL football team have also changed their names.

“This is a long battle, an uphill battle,” Rhodes said. “Because it is usually what is ethical and right versus what is racist and what makes money.”

The New York Times reports that Minnesota-based agricultural company Land O’Lakes has featured a Native American woman in its product packaging for over a century. ICT also previously wrote about the story behind Land O’Lakes packaging.

“It’s not all about Minnetonka and getting our name out there as much as possible. We’re trying to create a platform for Native American artists to be seen, and for them to share their beautiful work and their heritage.” — Katie Iwanin, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy at Minnetonka 

In 2018, Skjefte collaborated with two other Indigenous creatives to design a sweatshirt that read, “Not Your Land, Not Your Lakes.” Skjefte believes that their design may have contributed to Land O’Lakes’ act of removing the Native American woman from its branding in 2020.

“This design critiques the appropriation of Native American imagery by brands that disrespect our cultures for profit,” Skjefte said. “It powerfully highlights the ongoing struggle to protect our land and water.”

Red Lake Nation Anishinaabe artist and designer Lucie Skjefte shares about her custom designed sweatshirts that were a part of an the effort to remove the Native American woman, “Mia,” from the Land O’Lakes packaging. The sweatshirt directly addresses Land O’Lakes’ cultural appropriation and reads: “Not your Land, Not your Lakes.” (Devanie Andre, special to ICT)

Land O’Lakes updated its packaging in 2020 and replaced the woman’s image with an illustration of a field and a lake.

As a social activist designer, Skjefte has also supported #StopLine3 — a Native American organization fighting against pipeline extension that would harm Anishinaabe land. Her graphic designs created resistance against the proposed Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota.

Skjefte believes the end to Native American cultural appropriation starts with shining light on the Native American artists whose work these brands have stolen from. Moreover, Rhodes said the Native community needs allies in the corporate world and among consumers.

“If other big brands are weaving in elements that are inspired by the art community or Indigenous peoples, they should equally lift the artist that they’re being inspired by in the same token that Minnetonka has highlighted my name,” Skjefte said.

On this topic, Rhodes believes the main answer lies in boycotting brands that profit from Native American designs and traditions. He also calls for people in power, such as well-known talent and actors, to refrain from supporting brands in this line of work.

As the family business has grown and evolved, Minnetonka created a five-point Commitment Plan in the summer of 2020 to acknowledge its role in profiting from Native American fashion designs and has taken several steps toward reconciliation.

Minnetonka started by listening and learning from Native American advisors in 2019 and developing a path forward together. In summer 2020, the brand announced an official Native American commitment, which openly expressed the brand’s origins; devoted itself to giving back to Native American artists, businesses and causes; and hired a Reconciliation Advisor, citizen of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and Anishinaabe artist Adrienne Benjamin.

Minnetonka’s new commitment (as of its spring 2024 update) showcased five steps toward uplifting the Native American community: 1. Educating its employers about Native American culture through learning sessions with Native leaders, 2. Shifting its logo and branding away from traditional Native American symbols, 3. Partnering with local Native American artists to design new collections and receive recognition and payment for their work, 4. Building business relationships with Native-owned companies and 5. Donating funds to Native American nonprofit organizations.

“With this being Minnetonka’s longest-standing product, this story is going to go further and create awareness around our people — not only our language, [but] our visibility and our contributions across any industry.” — Lucie Skjefte, Red Lake Nation Anishinaabe designer and artist

Minnetonka’s Vice President of Marketing & Strategy Katie Iwanin said one of the reasons she joined the company in 2021 was to shine a light on Native American culture in Minnesota. She wanted to learn about the company’s journey with reconciling cultural appropriation and start building meaningful relationships with Native American artists.

“Our strategy is to shine a light on Native American artists and their artistry. It’s not all about Minnetonka and getting our name out there as much as possible,” Iwanin said. “We’re trying to create a platform for Native American artists to be seen, and for them to share their beautiful work and their heritage.”

Iwanin and the Minnetonka team recognized that the Thunderbird moccasins were one of their most highly appropriated products, since the design was derived from Native culture but not created by Native artists. Minnetonka wanted to travel back to the Thunderbird’s traditional meaning and put Native designers’ work at the forefront of this moccasin’s redesigned beading.

ed Lake Nation Anishinaabe artist and designer Lucie Skjefte pulls up the webpage of her most recent collaboration with Minnetonka, the Thunderbird "Animikii" moccasins. Designed in honor of her son and connected to the true meaning of Thunderbirds in her Native culture, Skjefte has transformed one of Minnetonka’s most appropriated products. “I would say that the majority of my designs are always going to be in honor of my mother and my ancestors because it will be attributed to how they have guided and led this work,” Skjefte said. (Devanie Andre, special to ICT)

In Red Lake Nation Anishinaabe culture, the Thunderbird is a sacred spiritual being known for creating sounds of thunder and replenishing the Earth.

Skjefte’s research revealed that “in Ojibwe culture, the Thunderbird has great spiritual power that is closely connected to nature and their presence is intertwined with the very essence of human existence.”

Skjefte’s sister Lisa said that the Thunderbird is connected to the Anishinaabe seven-generation prophecy.

“[The seven-generation prophecy] is about being intentional about what we do today, as it creates a ripple effect that will impact the future generations,” Lisa said.

Benjamin initially reached out to Skjefte about redesigning the beadwork on the Thunderbird moccasins. Skjefte had much to consider in light of this collaboration.

“I wanted to reinforce that we share and teach each other through storytelling. And so I wanted our story to be as meaningful as the art that is being shared.” — Lucie Skjefte, Red Lake Nation Anishinaabe designer and artist

Benjamin was the first Native designer to collaborate with Minnetonka, designing a collection of beaded hats in 2021. The brand used Benjamin’s requested price point — a number set higher than most of their products — and learned there was a “demand for Indigenous art.” Benjamin has also helped Minnetonka create the three, five and 10-year plans that contribute to its “lifelong commitment to this work” of cultural reconciliation.

Skjefte and Benjamin met through managing a tabulation booth together at the Mille Lacs Band of Obijwe powwow in Hinckley, Minnesota. They both received their traditional names from the same Amikogaabaw’iban and namesake, Amik O’Gaabaw (Larry Smallwood).

Skjefte said that multiple Native American designers rejected Benjamin and the Minnetonka team’s offer to take part in the Thunderbird redesign. Lisa helped Skjefte see the project in a different light. She challenged her to have a strong “why” for taking part in the collaboration. Skjefte said she was never afraid of “taking risks and standing in it.”

“I paused because I’m used to taking on projects that are hard sells, and this one in particular is hard because of the sacredness around Thunderbirds in our culture and our understanding of what is publicly known about them,” Skjefte said.

This risk would have a reward — honoring her Amikogaabaw’iban, creating a space for Native American artistry in the fashion industry and creating a legacy for her son, Animikii.

“I think that it’s brave to be the connector,” Lisa said. “I think that it’s a perfect job for her. She has the strength to be able to build a partnership where I think other folks might not have been.”

Skjefte took the collaboration as an opportunity to share the story of the Thunderbird. She created her designs in honor of her grandmothers (gookomisinaan), aunties and her mother, who proudly wore their pairs of Minnetonka moccasins.

“With this being Minnetonka’s longest-standing product, this story is going to go further and create awareness around our people — not only our language revitalization, our visibility and our contributions across any industry,” Skjefte said.

This would be Skjefte’s third design collaboration with Minnetonka. Her first design, a series of beaded floral designs for the Ziigwan Waabigwan moccasin collaboration, began with a canvas of reconciliation — an opportunity to reclaim the sacredness of Native American artistry and magnify the beauty of Anishinaabe heritage. Skjefte was invited to the Minnetonka office in summer 2o22, where she first explored the possibilities of a partnership. They discussed different suede and bead colors. The Minnetonka team showed Skjefte an empty “plug” — the top of part of a moccasin, where a beaded design would be stitched.

“Because she’s from the community, she has an incredible ability to connect with community members and understand their vision.” — Kit Fordham, Executive Director of the Mni Sota Fund

Skjefte feels that Minnetonka has approached all her beaded design partnerships in a “very genuine way.” She said that if she wouldn’t have been able to connect with Minnetonka’s president Jori Miller Sherer, the partnership would not have been what it is today.

The inspiration behind the Ziigwan Waabigwan beaded floral design came from the history of Ojibwe-style florals. Skjefte noted that Ojibwe women would often model these designs off their floral surroundings, especially tulips.

Skjefte’s first collection of the Ziigwan Waabigwan moccasins went live on Indigenous People’s Day Oct. 10, 2022, and have since sold out.

Skjefte’s second collaboration with Minnetonka hit the market Oct. 9, 2023, and was dedicated to her niece Ayashe. At school, Ayashe (pronounced i-yah-she) experienced her classmates mispronouncing her Native name and resorted to being called “Aya.” According to her Q&A with Minnetonka, Skjefte aimed to use this collection to “instill a sense of pride in [her] niece while teaching others the importance of respecting and valuing diverse names and cultures.” Skjefte’s beaded design for the Ayashe moccasins followed a similar melody to her Ziigwan Waabigwan moccasins, with a focus on Ojibwe floral featuring a white, green, red and yellow beaded tulip design.

After that success, redesigning the Thunderbird moccasins carried a different weight and involved careful consideration. Skjefte had to take a moment and contemplate the sacred nature of the Thunderbird for both her Native culture and motherhood.

First, her Red Lake Nation Anishinaabe culture taught her about the power and strength of the Thunderbird, a spirit that purifies and restores the Earth. She analyzed the historical teachings about the Thunderbird, but she committed to revealing information that was only accessible to the public and not considered sacred in Native American culture. In her research, she clarified that the Thunderbird “generates thunder with the powerful flapping of its wings,” being “propitious and promising visitors.” The Thunderbird doesn’t only “cleanse bodies of water” and “create fires,” but also appears in dreams and visions.

“I wanted to reinforce that we share and teach each other through storytelling. And so I wanted our story to be as meaningful as the art that is being shared,” Skjefte said.

Secondly, the role of the Thunderbird inspired her while she was in the process of naming her son. She named him Animikii (pronounced ah-nih-mih-kee), which is the literal translation of Thunderbird in the Objwemowin dictionary, and can also be translated as “the one who throws thunder and/or lighting” in Ojibwe. All of her design collaborations have been homage to her family, ancestors and Red Lake culture.

Red Lake Nation Anishinaabe artist and designer Lucie Skjefte shares the story behind her first-ever logo that was created for her grassroots movement, KWESTRONG Indigenous Women's Wellness. Run alongside her twin sister Lisa Skjefte, the focus of KWESTRONG is to reconnect Native women to the power of the outdoors through a yearly triathlon and winter snow-shoeing events. “It was kind of like my brand child and it was the first logo I ever created. And it was not my best logo. I received a lot of criticism with that logo, but yet we continued to evolve the design,” Skjefte said. (Devanie Andre, special to ICT)

The redesign of the Thunderbird went live Feb. 24 with a new name in honor of Skjefte’s son and heritage — the Thunderbird “Animikii.” Skjefte’s design is copyrighted — allowing her to use the icon on upcoming projects with Native-owned businesses — and the brand compensates her everytime it uses her Thunderbird “Animikii” design for the lifetime of the product via a royalty.

Animikii is “elated and proud” of his mother and told the Minnetonka team he wanted a black and yellow pair, a pink and white pair and a pink pair of his namesake moccasins. Skjefte said that she has always felt like Animikii has had a strength and light surrounding him, noting that many manidoogs — Native spirits and ancestors — surround him.

She believes that other Native designers and artists deserve to have this same light poured on them. Skjefte emphasizes that this collaboration with Minnetonka was never about her, but inspiring the Native community to find their place in the fashion industry.

– – –

Growing up in the Little Earth housing complex in Minneapolis, with a German Norwegian father, an Ojibwe mother and three siblings, Skjefte reflects back on a childhood that “gave her the freedom to explore and be inspired by her surroundings.” Little Earth was her catalyst of artistic inspiration. Through sitting under the teachings of her community, elders, aunties, uncles and grandparents, Skjefte gained exposure to the beauty of her culture. She views these memories as an overflow of the stories she continues in her own designs.

“[Little Earth] will always feel like my center and my home,” Skjefte said.

It was Skjefte’s father Ingo who specifically reinforced the importance of her Native culture by reminding his children of their Native roots and heritage.

“For him, it was important that we grew up with a sense of pride and identity to our Indian way of life and culture,” Skjefte said. “He believed and lived his life in our ways.”

The Skjefte family would travel back home to the Red Lake Nation in northern Minnesota, where they would dance on the powwow trails and stay connected to their Native community. But her aunties and uncles didn’t get involved with powwows and speak their Ojibwe language until they were older in age.

Skjefte’s Ojibwe grandmother on her mother’s side, Theresa “Mattie” Dunkley, was taken from her family and placed in the Pipestone Indian Training School in the 1930s or 1940s. The Pipestone Indian Training School was active from 1893-1953 in Pipestone, Minnesota, wrongly forcing Native American children to only speak the “English language” and engage in “vocational training.”

According to Time Magazine, “between 1819 and 1969, the U.S. ran or supported 408 boarding schools.” These boarding schools aimed to discourage Native American children from staying connected with their culture’s traditions, sacred language, ways of life and religion.

Skjefte noted that while her grandmother was in boarding school, she slowly became afraid to speak her own language. Additionally, Skjefte said that her uncle Mike remembered Mattie telling him stories about being hit whenever she spoke her language. Along with the immense physical abuse, Native American youth were also forced to cut their hair and replace their traditional clothes with school uniforms, according to the National Museum of the American Indian.

“My grandmother was forced to not speak her language because the nuns would inflict pain on her for doing so,” Skjefte said.

Still, Mattie raised 10 children on the Red Lake reservation and taught her Native American language. When Skjefte’s mother Debra was 13 years old, her grandmother relocated her 10 kids to South Minneapolis. As the years passed by, Mattie’s boarding school experience contributed to the cultural disconnect of her children.

When Skjefte started kindergarten and first grade at Trinity First Lutheran school, she believes that her experience “mirrored how her grandmother was probably treated.”

“Being treated like you’re not worthy. You’re not accepted. You’re dirty, or you’re a bad kid because you’re Indian,” Skjefte said.

After Skjefte finished second grade, Debra decided to disenroll Skjefte and her siblings from the school. While Debra was impacted by her mother’s perception of her Native American identity, she chose to embrace the beauty and rich identity of her Red Lake Nation Anishinaabe culture as a dancer. One of the primary sources of inspiration for Skjefte’s designs, Debra passed away from pneumonia in 2019. Debra gifted Animikii with a “fancy dancer” bustle and his “first beaded pair of moccasins” — something that Skjefte will forever cherish.

Because of her parents’ commitment, Skjefte and her three siblings — her brother Ingo, her sister Lisa and her little sister Leah (who goes by “Doo”) — are all fierce advocates of their Native American heritage and all in lines of work connected to uplifting their culture, community and people. Just as her parents each taught her to honor her Native American culture in their own ways, Skjefte wants to build a life and legacy for Animikii.

– – –

Skjefte eventually discovered a nonprofit where she could weave her passions and artistry together — the Native-owned and operated Mni Sota Fund. Mni Sota Fund seeks to provide fair and responsible financing to the Minnesota Native population. Their goal is to break the poverty cycle.

Executive Director Kit Fordham first came in contact with Skjefte’s graphic design work for Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe citizen Korina Barry’s congressional campaign. Fordham was drawn to Skjefte’s use of a deep purple background, the positioning of her floral design and the sophistication of the concept. He wanted Skjefte to be the brainpower behind Mni Sota Fund’s new visual identity.

Today, Skjefte works as the director of marketing at Mni Sota Fund. Fordham says she has designed the branding and visual identity of dozens of Native-owned businesses. According to Fordham, a traditional branding agency would typically charge at least $10,000 for this kind of design. But Skjefte contributes her time and designs to the community that shaped her — free of charge — through the Mni Sota Fund. Other Native brands Skjefte has helped include Bear Claw Hardwood Floor, Avari Beauty and Moe Bodyworks.

“Because she’s from the community, she has an incredible ability to connect with community members and understand their vision and then be able to really quickly turn it into a world-class design that can live on social media, the internet and can also be signed in advertisements,” Fordham said.

Skjefte’s next project is a $7 million capital campaign for Mni Sota Fund. This campaign is centered around garnering financial support that will allow Mni Sota Fund to purchase its own building on Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis — a street which Skjefte notes will be an “extension of the American Indian cultural corridor.”

Skjefte’s work at Mni Sota Fund and in designing the Ziigwan Waabigwan, Ayashe and Thunderbird “Animikii” moccasins has accomplished what she set out to do at the beginning: pave a trail for Native American artists and designers to find a place in an industry that has been heavily influenced by elements, traditions and stories in their culture.

This fall, Minnetonka will be launching a new collection with a third Native American designer named Hannah Standstrong, a White Earth Nation artist based in Duluth. Like Skjefte, she will name her own design, receive payment for her work and the pairs sold and choose a Native American nonprofit to donate to in honor of her collection.

“Let’s lift our voices and give opportunity to not just artists like myself, but to Indigenous artists that [Minnetonka is] going to continue to work with and collaborate with to create designs that are true to our [Native American] artistry,” Skjefte said.

Hannah Hunhoff, an organizational communication major with minors in journalism and social media, graduates in May from Bethel University. She has spent the last four years spearheading marketing campaigns, working on social media initiatives and writing purpose-driven stories. She has completed three different marketing communication internships, most recently in influencer marketing at Best Buy. This June, she will be starting her public relations career at advertising agency, Carmichael Lynch Relate.

Kathryn Kovalenko is a journalism and media production double major at Bethel University, where she has spent two years as a reporter and photographer. She’s written profiles and issue stories on campus and in the Twin Cities.

Devanie Andre is a junior graphic design major and photojournalism minor at Bethel University, she has spent a year designing and photographing for her university’s student newspaper, The Clarion. She has taken photos and reported in Haryana, India for Bethel’s Textura 2024 Magazine. 

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