Minnesota’s American Indian population is one of the communities especially impacted by the opioid crisis. As a part of our opioid awareness work for the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Russell Herder partnered within the Ojibwe community to create authentic, credible messaging beneath the theme “This is about all of us”. The response has seen a greater appreciation for Ojibwe culture and traditions in finding wholeness and peace of mind.

We collaborated with Thomas Barrett (AKA Thomas X), an accomplished musician and member of the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe, and his creative partner/videographer, Alex Ahmen for a unique approach to our messaging. They worked with us to tell the story of a young woman’s journey from addiction to recovery. Members of both the Red Lake and Leech Lake Indian Reservations participated, some in front of the camera and others contributing original music and spoken word. The result is a powerful video that resonates both within the culture and for anyone affected by the brutal cycle of opioid addiction.