This painting stems from in the Heart of Women exhibit which showed with other Indigenous women during February 2015 at the Round House in Vancouver BC. Also, I showed still photographs in the exhibit. Although this painting is unfinished decided to show it anyhow. Illustrates essay Ode to Indigenous Peoples Day, October 10, 2016.
Yes it’s good to read an article in Truthout October 10, 2016, “Dismantling Columbus and the Power of the Present” written by Jaskiran Dhillo and Siku Allooloot, Indigenous writers from Canada. I am Dine’ filmmaker from U.S. It’s good that Indigenous people at Standing Rock resisted the mining in North Dakota, but not to forget the eras of mid 60’s – mid 70’s when change happened in U.S. as well: women, people of color, Indigenous resisted Richard Nixon and his policies of Cointelpro. Red Power emerged, broke open to the mainstream media and public: take over at Alcatraz, take over of B.I.A. building and Fish Ins in Washington state and other events. Indigenous always resisted colonization since Jamestown, Massachusetts, 1609-10. 1800-late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Indigenous people resisted U.S. Federal government’s military and policies at Sand Creek, Sand Creek Massacre, Wounded Knee Massacre, the many long walks Indigenous were forced to walk in snow, cold, heat many miles by forced removal from their lands stolen from U.S. federal government and among many other sad and ugly stories not written in secondary school history books, which should be: genocide. These stories are deleted in most Hollywood westerns. Some Presidents were more hateful than others to get rid of us such as Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson. Most were ignorant of us. Most politicians still are ignorant of us. Some Indigenous in U.S. were against A.I.M. but some people like myself, saw flaws of A.I.M. I tried to understand their history; yet at the same time I saw the positives. During February 1973 a period of time in my life I noticed for the first time, mainstream media illustrated us Indigenous to the world as contemporary people—we existed because of Wounded Knee. I lived in SF, San Francisco, 1971 after Haight Ashbury mellowed out. I attended San Francisco Art Institute to complete my B.F.A. in still photography. Second year, Spring 1973 at SFAI, 22 years old, I picked up a paper. Saw an article that said Indigenous fights with FBI at a church in Wounded Knee, South Dakota, which lasted February-March. I wanted to go out there and still photograph it, shoot it but I also wanted to finish my degree in still photography. I completed my B.F.A. in still photography May 1973 from S.F.A.I. I went on to complete my M.F.A. in filmmaking, graduate level at UCLA, 1986. I always followed the A.I.M. movements and any Indigenous movements happening.
Sometimes I wonder if mainstream wants to forget or do they not know? Or does mainstream want us to disappear. Myself and other Indigenous people know we did not disappear. The land is important. Always has been about the land. We lived on the land before Columbus arrived. Since first colonization to the present U.S. Federal government knew that, except U.S. Federal government usually chooses instead to gloss over and propagandizes the truth. Motivation is to obtain the gas, oil or uranium on Indigenous lands usually without consultation. We never lost our sovereignty as Federal government says. Always had sovereignty. When Columbus came over to claim the land of America for Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon, Spain, we Indigenous already lived here with developed languages and cultures. According to proclamation, 1 of 10 points from Doctrine of Discovery, Indigenous had to convert to Christianity or they were enslaved, gotten rid of or other negative actions performed. “Native America, Discovered and Conquered, Thomas Jefferson, Lewis and Clark and Manifest Destiny” written by Indigenous Shawnee lawyer Robert J. Miller explains the Doctrine of Discovery. We exist. Massacre still happens in Brazil among Indigenous right now. Indigenous U.S. writers: Leslie Marmon Silko, Linda Hogan, Joy Harjo, James Welch, Vine Deloria, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Lois Red Elk and other writers and Indigenous Canada writers: Marie Ann Harte, Jonina Lynn Kirton, Kelly Rhoulette, Jacqueline Quewezance, Tracey Lindberg and other writers, all wrote works: novels, essays and poetry about contemporary Native life. Indigenous female, male writers and screenwriters will continue to write more books, novels, essays, screenplays and comedies about this history and different contemporary life. I express this because I know the arts best among various fields. I hope in the future the Powhatan people or an Indigenous Nation similar to Powahatan writes and airs a screenplay or teleplay about the real Thanksgiving at Jamestown on national television, Thanksgiving Day in U.S. Many more ideas and hopes about Indigenous people abound for the future. To remember those Indigenous people who resisted colonialism in North America before 2016.