December 15, 2017
Great People Doing Great Things: Native Photographers Tell Their Story
Over 56 million acres of land in the United States is owned and controlled by approximately 500 Native American tribes that received federal recognition and sovereign land from the U.S. government. Living on this land, although a blessing, has made us invisible to the public eye. In addition to the geographical invisibility, our history, modern culture, and social issues have been swept under the rug for decades by mainstream media and the U.S. government. They typically stay out of the reservations altogether, but unfortunately, people can't fix a problem unless they view it with their own eyes, after all, "seeing is believing." This is the reason our own cameras are crucial to healing our indigenous communities.
The lack of big city news coverage and government agency involvement leaves independent photographers with the responsibility to document the breathtaking culture. The responsibility falls on these same people to bring awareness to epidemics sweeping it, such as rampant drug abuse, alcoholism, and suicide. Native American communities have a suicide rate of nearly double that of the rest of the country. It's a heartbreaking epidemic that sweeps all Native communities, including my own. To bring awareness to deep-rooted issues in my culture I teamed up with videographer Zach Erwin, for a photo and video project titled "Still Here" to spread awareness of these forgotten problems and issues beneath the radar, and to share the blissful and powerful imagery of healing our communities with tradition.
Residential Schools Forced Assimilation AND Taught Resistance
Beginning in the late nineteenth century, Native American children were forced to attend so-called “Indian schools” designed to blot out Native cultures and assimilate children into Anglo culture. But not all teachers at these schools were white—and Anne Ruggles Gere has uncovered some of the little-told stories of Native American teachers at Indian schools.
Gere paints a picture of educators caught between two worlds. They were painted as turncoats by Native families and seen as inferior by white people. But though these teachers worked within institutions designed to annihilate Native American culture, they often resisted policies of assimilation, encouraging pride and trying to preserve Native heritage.
Read this Synopsis Here -OR- Read the full article: "Indian Heart/White Man's Head: Native-American Teachers in Indian Schools, 1880-1930" Here
Also in the news:
Indigenous social movements: journalism versus activism in times of resistance
Labelling Native American journalists as "activists" simply because of their heritage helps to further diminish the Indigenous narrative.
The Redhawks Hoax
It was a website, a Twitter account and newspaper articles. And of course, the new name and logo.
The Washington Redhawks name change was all fake but this online hoax really got people talking in the DC area Wednesday afternoon. It was an elaborate scheme with a serious undertone created by Native American activists who have been fighting the Washington Redskins for decades now. In fact, members of the Rising Hearts coalition will hold a press conference this afternoon here at the George Preston Marshall statue outside of the old Redskins’ stadium, RFK.