Throughout November, MPR News is featuring Indigenous Minnesotans making history to celebrate Native American Heritage Month. Dakota and Boricua hip-hop artist Rafael Gonzalez, known as Tufawon, wants to hear Indigenous music on heavy rotation on every station. The 34-year-old grew up around south Minneapolis, frequenting places like Powderhorn and Brackett Parks and returning as an adult to record music videos.
“Speaking from the Indigenous perspective, when growing up, we would have a chapter in history class about Natives, and it was very watered down,” he said. “It was almost like in high school, my teachers kind of gave me this awakening.”
Since then he has traveled as far as Switzerland and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation fighting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, performing and making new music along the way.