Generations of Indigenous Voices from NY State | Apache 8 | Where are They Buried? | Lousy? Indigenous news coverage


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The exhibition Community and Continuity: Native American Art of New York is culled from the New York State Museum’s collection of contemporary Native American art.  NYSM is known for its historical and archeological Indigenous objects, which number in the millions and range in date from 13,000 years ago to the early 20th century.  But in 1996, the museum began acquiring works by living Algonquin and Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) artists to celebrate the continuing vibrancy of these communities.

Community and Continuity: Native American Art of New York continues at the Samuel Dorsky Museum (on the campus of the State University of New York at New Paltz, 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, NY) through December 9. The exhibition was curated by John Hart and Gwendolyn Saul.

READ: Generations of Indigenous Voices from New York State


This is the story of the courageous all-female Apache 8 firefighting unit which has protected their reservation and responded to wildfires around the nation for 30 years. This group, which recently became co-ed, earned the reputation of being fierce, loyal and dependable–and tougher than their male colleagues.Despite facing gender stereotypes and the problems that come with life on the impoverished reservation, the women became known as some of the country’s most elite firefighters. The film focuses on four women from different generations of Apache 8 crewmembers who speak tenderly and often humorously of hardship, loss, family, community and pride in being a firefighter.Official Selection at the American Indian Film Festival.

Source: Apache 8 | Kanopy


Thousands of Canada’s indigenous children died in church-run boarding schools

Armed with everything from school attendance records to drones, researchers across Canada are racing to shed light on a bleak part of the country’s history: How many indigenous children died at residential schools, and where are their unmarked graves? From 1883 to 1998, nearly 150,000 indigenous children were forcibly separated from their families and sent to the government-funded, church-run boarding schools in an attempt to assimilate them. Once there, they were frequently neglected and abused. What happened at the schools was akin to “cultural genocide,” concluded a 2015 report from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It also found that at least 3,200 students died at residential schools over those 115 years — a much higher rate than for students elsewhere in Canada — though the commission contended that the number was probably much higher and merited further investigation.

The religious organizations that operated the schools — the Anglican Church of Canada, Presbyterian Church in Canada, United Church of Canada, Jesuits of English Canada and some Catholic groups — in 2015 expressed regret for the “well-documented” abuses. The Catholic Church has never offered an official apology, something that Trudeau and others have repeatedly called for.

Source: Thousands of Canada’s indigenous children died in church-run boarding schools. Where are they buried? – The Washington Post




Most journalists also said we didn’t bother to cover Indigenous peoples because there was no journalistic payoff. We, reporters, preferred to do stories to improve situations and conditions, by pointing out things that didn’t work properly. We looked for bad guys, stories about corruption or inept business owners, government administrators, politicians, cops, for example. Yet similar stories about Indigenous communities never went anywhere. Things never changed. Also, by telling these stories, we faced accusations of concentrating on the negative. (See comment above about racism.)

Source: Why Coverage of Indigenous Issues Is So Lousy | FAIR

For First Time, Met’s Indigenous Art in American Wing | Leanne Betasamosake Simpson | Guardian of a holy lake

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With a major gift of 91 works of Native American art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will now include indigenous art in its galleries on American art.

Significantly, the museum states that the art will be displayed in the American Wing, as previously indigenous works from the United States were sequestered in the Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas galleries.

Source: For the First Time, Metropolitan Museum Will Display Indigenous Art in Its American Wing


  Leanne Betasamosake Simpson wants to make sure the Anishinaabe people are able to hear their own stories. Through writing and music, she has been able to do so, while also bringing the voices of her people to the wider world. The Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg artist just released her latest album, f(l)ight, on Sept. 30, 2016 and will follow with a connected book of poetry in 2017. Simpson began her career as a writer, but eventually found a way for her poetry and music to flow together and create new meaning about the past and future of her indigenous community. Q&Q spoke to Simpson about how storytelling has always been a part of her life, the accident that made her realize her poetry should be put to music, and her goal to tell the true story of her people. How do music and your writing connect for you? Poetry and lyric writing are both about storytelling for me. I want to take audiences and readers on a journey that’s not just intellectual but also political and artistic and

READ: Q&A: Anishinaabe artist Leanne Betasamosake Simpson on combining poetry and music | Quill and Quire


Sergei Kechimov, appointed guardian of a holy lake by his community, says the indigenous way of life is under threat…

READ: The reindeer herder struggling to take on oil excavators in Siberia | World news | The Guardian



Blog Bonus: Native American Photogs

NEW UK EXHIBIT: STILL – Native American Photographers

15th March – 28 May, 2016 (RAINMAKER Gallery is the UK showcase for contemporary Native North American Indian art and jewellery.)

RAINMAKER GALLERY, 123 Coldharbour Road, Bristol BS6 7SN, UK

Artist’s Talk with Cara Romero, Thursday April 21st, 3pm-4pm
Artists’ reception with Cara Romero and Diego Romero, Thursday April 21st, 6pm -8pm

STILL showcases the recent work of fine art photographers Cara Romero, Will Wilson, Kali Spitzer, Robert Mesa and Zoe Urness.  Their compelling photographic images of water, dance and stillness explore concepts of suspension and continuance in a rapidly changing world.

Global changes in climate, environment and economies have impacted significantly in the most vulnerable areas of the world, and Indigenous North Americans see these effects daily.  Chemehuevi artist Cara Romero draws these delicate relationships to a fine point in her series ‘Water Memories’. Her breathtaking underwater images expose the fragile and essential relationships that exist between people, water and life. These beautifully conceived photographs show an immersed environment where the Native American figures are portrayed under the surface, suspended in a drowned landscape.

“‘Water Memories’ are photography dreamscapes dealing with Native American relationships to water, the forces of man and of Mother Nature.  They are individual explorations of space, memory, and diverse Indigenous narratives that are both terrifying and peaceful.” Cara Romero

TOP PHOTO: Distinguished Diné artist Will Wilson’s tranquil, panoramic self-portrait captures a prayer offering by the lone figure of the artist within a vast waterscape. 

Since 2005, I have been creating a series of artworks entitled ‘Auto Immune Response’ (AIR), which takes as its subject the quixotic relationship between a post-apocalyptic Diné (Navajo) man and the devastatingly beautiful, but toxic environment he inhabits.  The series is an allegorical investigation of the extraordinarily rapid transformation of Indigenous lifeways, the dis-ease it has caused, and strategies of response that enable cultural survival.Will Wilson

From his on going series ‘Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange’ (CIPX), Wilson uses the early photographic technique of tintype to present modern static images of dancers in an historic fluid medium.

Kali Spitzer (Kaska Dena / Jewish) also experiments with the wet plate alchemical process of tintype producing magical and magnificent portraits of contemporary Indigenous women who appear as if through an antique mirror. Navajo photographer Robert I Mesa  captures fleeting moments of inter-tribal pow wow with his incandescent portraits of Fancy Dancers. Zoe Marieh Urness (Tlingit & Cherokee) creates timeless sepia toned portraits of Indigenous landscapes containing contemporary Native Americans still ‘Keeping The Traditions Alive’.

This exhibition presents technically and aesthetically brilliant images that together speak of the strong identities, cultures and connections to Mother Earth still thriving at the heart of Indigenous communities. 

STILL is curated by Dr Stephanie Pratt (Dakota) and Joanne Prince Director of Rainmaker Gallery

To book for the Artist’s Talk with Cara Romero please contact the gallery. The talk will take place at Redland Quaker Meeting House, 126 Hampton Rd. BS6 6JE. The cost is £7 per person.

Further talks will be held at The American Museum In Britain with both Cara Romero and Diego Romero on the 20th and 22nd April respectively.

Debra Yepa-Pappan’s work
‘CAPTURED’ showcases the work of fine art photographers Cara Romero, Will Wilson, Zoe Urness, Sara Sense, Tailinh Agoyo and Debra Yepa-Pappan, who surprise and delight with sublime and arresting imagery that challenges preconceived notions of American Indians.
Their post on Captured exhibit in 2015: HERE
AND meet a friend of mine Chris Pappan

Chris Pappan, his wife Debra Yepa-Pappan and their daughter JiHae visited Bristol for the opening of their exhibition FIRST PEOPLE, SECOND CITY co-curated by Dr Max Carocci from the British Museum and Joanne Prince, Director of Rainmaker Gallery.

Artist’s Statement:

I am an American Indian. I am Osage, Kaw, Cheyenne River Sioux, and mixed European heritage.
I don’t walk in beauty, I just try not to step in dog shit.
I don’t listen to the wind, I listen to people’s cell phone conversations.
I go to Pow Wows to celebrate a pan-Indian culture.
I don’t walk the Red Road, I walk down Kedzie Boulevard. I live 20 feet above the earth.
I listen to Norwegian Black Metal and 70’s Prog Rock.
I need to learn the language of my people.
I make paintings to bring awareness that Indians are still here.
I distort images because people perceive a distorted image of Native Americans in the collective conscience.
I prefer the term Indian over Native American, but I use both.
I wonder why many people want to know what “percentage” Indian I am.
I am blessed in that I don’t know anyone who is currently addicted to drugs, been a victim of domestic violence or committed suicide.
I am blessed in that I have a loving wife and beautiful daughter.
I am an American Indian living in the 21st century.


(Indians are also known for their good-hearted goofiness, like Chris obviously… Lara/Trace)

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