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Aaliyah Alberts is from Wisconsin and is a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe tribe. For Aaliyah, the art of crafting and wearing beaded earrings and jewelry holds profound significance. This practice is not merely a personal preference but a tribute to her great-grandmother, who was denied the freedom to express her culture through these traditional art forms. Aaliyah’s great-grandmother, along with many others, faced the harsh realities of forced assimilation, where displaying any form of cultural identity could compromise their safety. In defiance of this oppressive history, Aaliyah channels her pride and resilience into her artwork, making her creations emblematic of survival and resistance.

In her professional life, Aaliyah dedicates herself to empowering Native Americans through education and employment opportunities. She work with the Native American Indian Association (NAIA) as part of their Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act program. This initiative is pivotal in supporting job training and educational advancement for Native Americans in Tennessee. Through her work with NAIA, Aaliyah not only contributes to the economic well-being of her community but also serves as a living testament to the enduring strength and vibrancy of Native American culture. Her involvement in this program underscores her commitment to fostering a world where the next generation of Native Americans can thrive.

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