FacultyPhoto: Abigail Gentry
Regina M. Laroche
Regina M. Laroche is founder/owner of Diaspora Gardens and Diaspora Arts which are dedicated to nourishing and healing bodies, earth, spirit, and communities. As a micro-farmer, artist, retreat and workshop guide, she practices small scale connectional farming on an island at the edge of Lake Superior. Her offerings are creative explorations of healing and repair informed by encounters with the garden, land, and life-giving resilience of communities of color.
As storyteller and dancer Regina attempts to explore, express, and live the connections between land, food, community, cultures, art, and spirit. When the ideas seem too big, she returns to the simplicity of hands and seed in earth, of sharing food with neighbors, of dancing the wonder and heartbreak of it all.
Regina's story, dance, and creative guidance are shaped by farming, family, and community. Her life and art are influenced by her mother's rural South Carolina upbringing, her father's Haitian Afro-Caribbean culture, training in spiritual direction, the creative dance and story work of InterPlay, and a theatre degree from St. Catherine University. Regina has worked with a wide range of ages locally and globally.
Ray Buckley is the interim Director for the Center for Native Spirituality and Christian Study. He has served The United Methodist Church as a staff member of The United Methodist Publishing House, Director of the Native People Communication Office (UMCom) for nine years, and Director of Connectional Ministries and Native Discipleship for the Alaska Missionary Conference.
Ray is author and illustrator of five story-books, two missional studies on Native peoples for leaders of children and youth, a Lenten study for adults, Hard to Dance with the Devil on Your Back, examines suffering and forgiveness. His stories, poetry, and art have appeared in numerous journals, periodicals, and books around the world and his sculptures and art are in permanent collections of museums in several countries.
Ray teaches, preaches, and lectures around the globe. Along with Buffy St. Marie and Albert White Hat, he was a featured presenter at the Threshold Arts Series in Iowa; a guest lecturer at the Pontifical Biblical Institute of the Vatican. Of Lakota/Tlingit/Scots descent, Ray makes his home in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley of Alaska, where he is a traditional basket maker and wood carver.