Several Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellows, past and present, have been vocal advocates for the Water Protectors of the Oceti Sakowin Camp, a historic gathering of Indigenous Nations and allies on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation, in response to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
While this is by no means a comprehensive list of the work of our over 40 National Artist Fellows, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation is proud to support the socially engaged art and advocacy of its artists.
- Musician, educator and activist Tiokasin Ghosthorse (Mnicoujou/Itazipco Lakota) devoted several of his First Voices Radio programs to Standing Rock, and authored the thought-provoking article “Living in Relativity.”
- Multimedia artist Cannupa Hanska Luger (Mandan, Hisdatsa, Arikara, Lakota) designed a mirrored shield for Water Protectors on the front line, and created an instructional video on how others can inexpensively create and send them to the Camp.
- Musician Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache) has performed in multiple fundraisers in and around New York City, some in collaboration with 2014 Fellow Raven Chacon (Navajo).
- Following a site visit in which he documented and shared stark images of the Camp and its Water Protectors, painter Bunky Echo-Hawk (Pawnee, Yakama) has focused his winter blog posts on the connection between environmental justice and art.
- Author, environmentalist and poet Linda Hogan (Chickasaw Nation) wrote Why We Are Singing for Water – In Front of Men with Guns and Surveillance Helicopters, published in Yes! Magazine.
- Starr Kalahiki (Native Hawaiian) participated in the event Honolulu Standing in Solidarity with Standing Rock.
- Layli Long Soldier (Oglala Lakota) composed “Resolution,” one of a series of poems in response to the treatment of Native Americans, discussed here in an interview with NPR.
- Writer David Treuer (Ojibwe) authored an opinion piece that appeared in the New York Times, “An Indian Protest for Everyone.”
- Musician Bobby Bullet (Chippewa) performed in a community-organized fundraiser in Wisconsin.
- Poet Natalie Diaz (Mojave, Pima) discussed Standing Rock in an interview with Commonplace: Conversations with Poets.
- Multidisciplinary artist Shan Goshorn (Eastern Band Cherokee) created a basket woven in support of the water protectors, using black snake and water pattersn on woven paper reproduction of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, Chariman Archambault’s address to the UN, and a Lakota prayer.
- Choreographer Rulan Tangen (Metis)’s company Dancing Earth Creations performed a benefit fundraiser for Standing Rock.
- Lisa Telford (Haida) participated in the exhibit and fundraiser “Protect the Sacred: Native Artists for Standing Rock” in Tacoma, Wash.
Native Arts and Cultures Fellow past and present: let us know what you are doing! Email valerie(@)nativeartsandcultures.org