NEW BUFFALO, Mich.—Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation) was named a 2022 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellow on Wednesday, Oct. 12. Indigenous News interviewed him right after the announcement.

Hopinka is a filmmaker, photographer and poet whose work revolves around personal positions on Indigenous homeland and landscape. He is also a film professor at Bard College in upstate New York.

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News of his award – which comes with a no-commitment amount of $80,000 – came while he was attending the Association on American Indian Affairs’ annual repatriation conference.

“I heard there was a genius among us,” proclaimed Shannon O’Loughlin, executive director of the AAIA, leading Hopinka to a room of 200 people to congratulate him.

Indigenous News OnlineJenna Kunze, who was at the 3-day conference in New Buffalo, Michigan, spoke with Hopinka just hours after the announcement. He spoke about his work, the sequel and what this award means to him. In short: “freedom”.

WATCH the interview below.

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About the Author

Jenna Kunze
Author: Jenna KunzeE-mail: This email address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Personal editor

Jenna Kunze is a staff reporter who covers Indian health, environment and breaking news for Native News Online. She is also the publication’s senior reporter on stories related to Indian boarding schools and repatriation. His bylines have appeared in The Arctic Sounder, High Country News, Indian Country Today, Tribal Business News, Smithsonian Magazine, Elle and Anchorage Daily News. Kunze is based in New York.


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