Native American Artists Redefining What It Means to be “American”

posted by – 09/13/16 @ 3:43pm

Since the approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline project in July (and well before this), Native Americans have been peacefully protesting their mistreatment.  In particular, they’re working to preserve sacred and cultural sites.

At the same time, as discussed in Hyperallergic’s article, “Native American Students Fight to Remove Colonial Imagery from University of New Mexico,”  Indigenous people are rejecting labels and stereotypes perpetuated by the current Colonial American Narrative.

Cleopocahantra by Meritt Johnson

Cleopocahantra by Meritt Johnson

As art parallels history, Contemporary Indigenous Artists are growing in popularity alongside these events, such as those featured at the Cross Currents exhibition at Metropolitan State University of Denver in late 2013-2014.  More and more frequently, they are being given a voice to fill in historical gaps, preserve their own culture, and contribute to the current cultural conversation. Each artist in the exhibit explored topics of marginalization, stereotypes, and the deeper meaning of identifying as an Indigenous person in the United States.  Exhibits like this one give them a unique opportunity to draw attention to both historical and current progressions in the treatment of Native Americans.

(No)otalgia by Cannupahanksa Luger

(No)otalgia by Cannupahanksa Luger

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