Art is healing. It’s impactful and helps foster a connection to self and others. Sioux Falls is a very urban setting that does not have a lot of Indigenous representation or events. Bringing cultural gatherings to the downtown area to the core area of the city is essential to putting Indigenous issues to the forefront and this giving the public an opportunity to learn.

Kyrie Dunkley

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Kyrie Dunkley (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate), 32, is a seamstress, community organizer, and artist from Sioux Falls, SD. She holds a chair on the Powwow Committee for the USD Medical center for Disabilities Oyate Circle, and works with schools and the community to provide interactive services aimed at preserving culture, and promoting Native visibility.  Dunkley finds inspiration and hope in the increasing Indigenous representation in Media, urban communities, and big business. Through the creation of her clothes and the services she provides, she is helping reinforce language and cultural practices, and indigenize urban spaces.

Dunkley’s Dream is to increase Indigenous representation, visibility, and cultural connection in urban communities through fashion and community events. A Summer Showcase event will display Kyrie’s clothing inspired by traditional wear and regalia including Ribbon Skirts, Ribbon Shirts, and ready to wear clothing. This event will also create opportunity to for other Native Artists to showcase their work, network, and learn more about indigenous entrepreneurship. The event will take place this summer in Sioux Falls, SD.

“I provide sewing services, stories, songs, and language preservation by offering traditional wearable art that is specially designed to encourage the current generation to indigenize their space while teaching and reinforcing language and cultural protocols. I hope to inspire further individual research into our history for future preservations.”

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