2022 Culture Bearers
Top left: Jim Simas, Top right: Amoke Kubat, Bottom Left: Suzanne Thao, Bottom Right: Kathryn Haddad
Amoke Kubat (Iyanifa Adelabu Fakoya) will sit with Elder Mothers in Isese (Ifa/Orisa) communities to learn Indigenous West African rituals and ceremonies for the health and wellbeing of women.
Jim Simas (Seneca, Heron clan), is a craftsperson and cultural bearer. Simas carries on the work of his longtime Ojibwe mentor, Porky White, by sharing Ojibwe sugar bush practices from gathering and harvesting sap to hand carving traditional sugaring tools. Simas makes ceremonial items for other Native people and cultural items which are used for teaching.
Kathryn Haddad is the founder of both Mizna Cultural Center and New Arab American Theater Works. Her work to preserve Arabic culture includes film, theater, literature, and music, and reflects on both the past and present cultural reality for Arab and Muslim Americans.
Suzanne Thao has spent over 50 years making traditional Hmong paj ntaub. Her rich knowledge and philosophy of this craft as a Culture Bearer and Storyteller ensures that this practice is passed down from generation to generation.