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Aiyana Beaulieu & Brainerd's Waabigwan Ox

Aiyana Beaulieu & Waabigwan Ox

Brainerd's newest sculpture honors Native American culture!

The design, really, to me, is for healing and clarity, but also new growth, because I think not just in the Indigenous community but also just in the world, there's been a lot of hardship, and I think that art... is the thing to bring us together and to heal together. - Aiyana Beaulieu

Downtown Brainerd has a new sculpture to add to its growing collection public art. Aiyana Beaulieu designed the Waabigwan Ox statue at the intersection of 8th Street and Laurel. At just 15 years old, the statue is her first major public artwork. Click the green bubble above to learn about her connection to art, how she hopes the piece impacts those who encounter it, and her thoughts on the healing power of living and celebrating her native culture in this Area Voices segment.

...throughout history, there have been times where our people couldn't practice our culture. We couldn't dance and we couldn't sing, and, essentially, a lot of parts of our culture were ripped from us… it's a really hard truth to look at…So it's about healing. And I think that's one of the things… practicing your culture… it brings you joy. - Aiyana Beaulieu

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Katie Carter started at Northern Community Radio in 2008 as Managing Editor of the station's grant-funded, online news experiment Northern Community Internet. Since 2016, she's produced Area Voices showcasing the arts, culture, and history stories of northern Minnesota. She's our local host of NPR's All Things Considered and CBC's As It Happens every weekday from 4-7pm.
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