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Bear Paws Cultural Art Show


Bear Paws Cultural Art, a 501c3 Non-Profit was founded in June 2023, by Wanetta Thompson.  At Bear Paws Cultural Art, we aim to revitalize Ojibwe cultural heritage, foster mutual understanding and respect with our neighbors, and facilitate community healing through art.

In 2022, Wanetta, Laikora, and Lana Oswaldson saw a need in their community and worked together to apply for a Blandin Foundation Leadership Boost Grant.  They were successful and were awarded a $150,000 Creative Placemaking grant. In April 2023, we created Maadaoonidiwag (sharing knowledge) a cultural and educational Art program.  We would like to say Miigwech (thank you) to the Initiative Foundation for serving as our fiscal agent; without them, Maadaoonidiwag & Bear Paws Cultural Art would not exist! 

Wanetta, alongside her husband Anton, daughters Laikora, Kyrah, and Tourrie, and her sister Raenelle Weyaus provide traditional and contemporary Indigenous Art classes that are free and open to the public. The classes are taught by local Master Indigenous artists. 

This past summer we held the following classes: Beadwork, Hand Painted Leather Belts, Ojibwe Pucker Toe Moccasins, Ribbon Skirts, Drums & Drum Sticks, and 9 Block Blankets in Hinckley, East Lake, and Mille Lacs.   

This Art show is a cumulation of the Art created during our classes as well as Art created as a result of the teachings.  We are so excited to partner with East Central Regional Arts Council in hosting this Art Show.   

Artists include: 

Jesse Day, Beaded Medallion entitled Turtle Island; Biidaabanookwe (Day Break Woman) Roberta “Birdie” Dunkley, Moccasins; Les Gahbow, Hand Drums (Elk, Deer, and Cow Hides); Raina Killspotted, 9 Block Blankets; Trisha Moose, Ribbon Skirts; Oozhaa'waash'koo'gaabaw (Blue Sky Standing) Lana Oswaldson, Ribbon Skirts; Zoogipoequay (Snow Woman) Patty Sam, Hand Painted Leather Belt and  Moccasins; Zhawanigeezhigookwe (South Wind Woman) Laikora Thompson, Moccasins, Hand Painted Leather Belt, and Ribbon Skirts; Ogichidaakwe (Warrior Woman) Tourrie Thompson, Hand Painted Leather Belt;  Waabishkaanakwadookwe (White Cloud Woman) Wanetta Thompson, Hand Painted Leather Belt and Baby Moccasins; Bebaamaashiikwe Raenelle Weyaus, Moccasins, Drum, Ribbon Skirt, and Hand Painted Leather Belts

If you are interested in purchasing a work of art at this show (and we hope you are!) please contact  Wanetta Thompson at

With very special thanks to the Bear Paws Cultural Art Board of Directors: Brady Norby, Lana Oswaldson, Robin Roatch, Laikora Thompson, and Wanetta Thompson.

The Bear Paws Cultural Art Show will be on view at the ECRAC Gallery located at 540 Weber Ave, Hinckley (south of Tobie’s Restaurant east of the Hinckley exit from Interstate 35),

Opening night is Friday, March 15, 6-8pm 

with a presentation at 6:30pm. 

Additional dates to view the show include: Mondays through Thursdays 10 am to 3 pm, March 18 to 

April 15, 2024. 

Thanks also to 

Terri Huro, Art Show Curator

Katina Eklund & Mary Minnick-Daniels, ECRAC Staff 

and the ECRAC Board of Directors: 

Sarah Ratermann Beahann; Patricia Black; Stephanie Henry; Matthew Krousey; Roger Nieboer; 

Deborah Trent; Carla Vita;

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