Where are you from?
Boozjhoo. Heather Indijzhnacoz. Michigan odojiba. GTB Odawa Ojibwe Anishnaabekweh.
I was born in Monterey, California, but immediately moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan where I was raised. My affiliation is with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa (Odawa and Ojibwe) Indians in northern Michigan. I was raised in the inner city. I connected with other inner-city tribal youth through Native American Community Services and the United National Inter Tribal Youth (UNITY) leadership conferences and in ceremony. I was given the opportunity to network with other tribes across the country through these communities. I married into the military and have had ten changes of address in the past 15 years. I am grateful to be back in my home state but motivated to keep traveling and meeting new people.
What experience do you have with sales and marketing and promotions?
My previous goods and services have included convention planning packages, large wedding contracts, hotel packages, fine dining, student loans, an art institute, medical research, personal training, insurance, and many situational pursuals. I have worked with and within commercials, radio, print media, client retention, corporate sales, and celebrity hosting.
What is your sales style?
When I recognize something as valuable and integral, I cannot resist sharing it and watching it grow. At a tender age, I would get so excited about something I would talk so much about it that it drove my family a little nuts. A funny story: my uncle would offer me a quarter to be quiet for one minute. I did not earn that quarter any of the dozens of times he offered. Assuredly, my ambition and charisma have been fine-tuned to be less aggressive and more fluid and they work for me.
What ignites your passion for Native art?
Growing up I loved color and contrast and expression, and I found myself feeling that some things were quite appealing to the eye and theme provoking but what really moved me was the storytelling potential of art. History was my least favorite subject, because I had more questions than satisfying answers, and it frustrated me to see so little representation of my maternal ancestry. The history, geography, genealogy, and science that is captured in Indigenous art is deeply valuable for the generations to come.
What are your favorite art forms?
I have had the privilege of exposure to trying my hand at many art forms. The stories of my great-grandmother and my ancestors create a deeper connection in my weaving. I indulge in painting and illustration. I have built a small foundry to practice copper casting. I admire beadwork and would love to explore more varieties of stitching. Santa Fe Indian Market ignites a lot of awe and respect for the diverse exchange of perspectives. Freshly emerging art is always enticing.