PBN: What does it mean to you to represent your ethnicity at such an institution?
SPEARS: It is important that the work I do empowers the indigenous community while sharing our history, culture and art with the public. Everything I do is for the next generation. We often say the “next seven generations” as it means what you are doing today should impact your great-grandchildren’s great-grandchildren. Those that came before me laid the groundwork so I could be here today. I thank my mother Dawn Dove, the director in the 1970s who gained our nonprofit status; Eleanor Dove, who supported the museum by first giving it a home in the 1960s; and Princess Red Wing, who gave the museum its first-person voice when it began in 1958. My earliest memory was of my cousins and I doing the Strawberry Dance at Tomaquag Museum, when I was 5 years old.
PBN: How do you incorporate your personal and family history and ethnicity into the educating you do through your work?