As indigenous tribes and their allies continue protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline, it is imperative that we ask ourselves, ‘how did we get here?’ Native American culture existed on this continent for thousands of years before the Puritans immigrated to these lands from Europe. The tribes that lived here treasured Mother Earth and had an unwavering respect for the environment.
I began this project to stand in solidarity with the water protectors standing their ground at Standing Rock in North Dakota. For five days during the Thanksgiving holiday, I traveled around New England, visiting the places and spaces where I could learn more about Native American life. It is during this week, and this week only, that we nationally recognize that our identity is interwoven with those who lived here before us.
I am painfully aware that despite being familiar with this history, I really don't know much. This on-going project is an opportunity to explore the landscape of the northeastern part of the United States through the Native American perspective, with an intention to make portraits of individuals who are descendants of indigenous peoples.