An Indigenous: Colonizers Binary

An Indigenous: Colonizers Binary
Dyptich: Oil painting on wood panel, 12" x 16." Deer raw hide stretched over 15" diamater maple wooden frame. 2014.

R E C E N T - B L O G - P O S T S

Writings, Thoughts, & Research Questions

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Map to the Next World by Joy Harjo

for Desiray Kierra Chee In the last days of the fourth world I wished to make a map for those who would climb through the hole in the sky. My only tools were the desires of humans as they emerged from the killing fields, from the bedrooms and the kitchens. For the soul is a wanderer with many hands and feet. The map must be of sand and can’t be read by ordinary light. It must carry fire to the next tribal town, for renewal of spirit. In the legend are instructions on the language of the land, how it was we forgot to acknowledge the gift, as if we were not in it or of it. Take note of the proliferation of supermarkets and malls, the altars of money. They best describe the detour from grace. Keep track of the errors of our forgetfulness; the fog steals our children while we sleep. Flowers of rage spring up in the depression. Monsters are born there of nuclear anger. Trees of ashes wave good-bye to good-bye and the map appears to disappear. We no longer know the names of the birds here, how to speak to them by their personal names. Once we knew everything in this lush promise. What I am telling you is real and is printed in a warning on the map. Our forgetfulness stalks us, walks the earth behind us, leav- ing a trail of paper diapers, needles, and wasted blood. An imperfect map will have to do, little one. The place of entry is the sea of your mother’s blood, your father’s small death as he longs to know himself in another. There is no exit. The map can be interpreted through the wall of the intestine—a spiral on the road of knowledge. You will travel through the membrane of death, smell cooking from the encampment where our relatives make a feast of fresh deer meat and corn soup, in the Milky Way. They have never left us; we abandoned them for science. And when you take your next breath as we enter the fifth world there will be no X, no guidebook with words you can carry. You will have to navigate by your mother’s voice, renew the song she is singing. Fresh courage glimmers from planets. And lights the map printed with the blood of history, a map you will have to know by your intention, by the language of suns. When you emerge note the tracks of the monster slayers where they entered the cities of artificial light and killed what was killing us. You will see red cliffs. They are the heart, contain the ladder. A white deer will greet you when the last human climbs from the destruction. Remember the hole of shame marking the act of abandoning our tribal grounds. We were never perfect. Yet, the journey we make together is perfect on this earth who was once a star and made the same mistakes as humans. We might make them again, she said. Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end. You must make your own map.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


EMERGENCE__ "Change Happens one Warrior at a Time. Our people must reconstitute the mentoring and learning–teaching relationships that foster real and meaningful human development and community solidarity. The movement toward decolonization and regeneration will emanate from transformations achieved by direct-guided experience in small, personal, groups and one-on-one mentoring towards a new path." (Alfred and Corntasel 614)__ The drums represent elements and the spirit of reconnection to ancestral homeland and regeneration of ancestral memories by using color and design relationships that collaborate with sacred Indigenous materials. The drums exist in the exhibition as art objects, but as a display reflect the group collaboration, community, as well as the individual who represents their unique tribal diversity. This collaborative experience and exhibition aims to expand both the viewer and the artist’s notion of Indigeneity and American Indian. __ The drums simultaneously hold their own futures outside of the gallery space. The instrument represents the heartbeat for the people, embracing the symbolic strength of the circle. They are created as prayer, in their emergence and existence to become a bridge home, a bridge inviting our ancestors to cross and join with us, walking forward. Their future is returning to ceremony, returning to homelands, bringing new voices and visions with them, through the artists and their families future generations. The artist’s participation and making activate these drums in non-linear temporalities, through remembering and making, an object can become an art practice, a tool. This is the first utterance in remembering how to communicate in re-indigenized and decolonizing languages. This exhibit allows the viewers and the artists to witness a beginning, and to remind us that the drums are a life and they will carry their own memory of a people, so they stand and witness these remberances alongside all of us.

Quote: Linda Tuhiwai Smith

"What kind of spaces am I narrating here and why might it be important to understand such spaces? The very idea of postcolonial spaces is layered with, and evocative of, empires past, present and future, complicated stories and identities, intimate and alienated relationships, shifting borders and contested terrains, ambivalent, partial and contradictory meanings. Within these spaces people live and make sense of their lives. Here is the riddle; they occupy shifting spaces, they shift the spaces they occupy and yet the spaces are the same spaces that existed before. The contemporary spaces I describe have been created by the synergy of other spaces that were constituted decades, centuries and eons ago. Native Americans existed before the idea of America, they exist in the transnational spaces we know now as America and they live in the nation-state of the United States of America." (Tuhiwai Smith 549-550) ----> Tuhiwai Smith, Linda. “Introduction.” International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. Vol. 19, No. 5, September-October 2006, pp. 549-552. Print.