“To take into care what is precious and sacred to indigenous people and facilitate the passing of

indigenous knowledge and cultural values from one generation to another”.

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Advisory Council Member. . . Timoteo Ikoshy Montoya

Timoteo  Ikoshy Montoya was born in Corpus Christi,Texas in 1956. When he was nine his family moved to San Francisco, California. His artistic abilities have been with him since his youth. As he made his way through school,  this creativity was encouraged by his family and instructors. He remembers, "When I was growing up in Texas and later in California, my older brother  and I spent a lot of time drawing and creating. Our family didn¹t spend  time on emphasizing our "Indianess". The Indian people in our family was common knowledge just as it was with many Tejano families. It seemed that  we were just trying to survive and make a place for ourselves just like  the rest of America." Ikoshy lived in the San Francisco bay area until his  move up to Humboldt County where he attended College of the Redwoods.  It was there he entered the Native American Studies Program and began  his involvement with other native peoples in securing their culture and  history. He remembers an elder Lakota brother referring to it as becoming a Born Agin’ Savage. "It was at this time that I fully understood how much the Indian part of our family was a very important part of the foundation of my own life.” He also began to paint using acrylics, his work making the most of ideas and inspiration from the native environment  he was in. His art, from its inception, represents the evolution of immersion  in native teachings as it traced its way through ceremonies and the everyday part of his own personal life. Ikoshy has never had any formal art training. “ I was born with my artistic abilities and my elders, the sweat lodge and related ceremonies have been my art instructors.”

 Ikoshy is an enrolled member of the Lipan Apache Band of Texas. He currently  lives in the community of Yankee Hill, California with his wife, Nadine and two children, Raina and Teo. His art has been featured in documentary videos on Native America, in various periodicals, on book covers, CD jackets  and cassettes.

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Artist Statement: “We were sitting, and in the distance—down in the valley—we could hear the thunder coming. My uncle said to me that the Thunderbeings were coming. He reminded me of a little kid, the way he was nudging me and getting excited. He kept saying that they were getting close. When they were right above us, my uncle began to tell the story of his people’s relationship with the Thunderbeings, and each time he spoke, lightening would strike. There was no coincidence. The more he spoke, the more in sync he became with the lightening. That was his way. He was brought up that way, and he had a relationship with the Thunderbeings.” On the advice of his uncle, Montoya believes that it is important to share such experiences, so that people don’t remain ignorant.

“The Thunder Being” by Ikoshy

acrylic/airbrush on canvas

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