October 27, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra
Pumpkins and colorful leaves (and friendly reminders from every corner of my family) means it’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving. I like this holiday. No more- or less-so than other holiday, really, but I like to take any excuse I can to celebrate. Thanksgiving, though, comes with a little extra baggage. Behind all the feasting and family gathering is a lot history that isn’t necessarily all worth celebrating. I don’t know all there is to know, but I think my ignorance about Native American history, culture, and lifestyle is a symptom of a broader lack of understanding throughout the culture that forced another into submission. There’s a lot of guilt surrounding a lack of reflection on ugly history, but maybe focusing on history isn’t the best way to improve the future. Maybe we can look at the present and learn enough about what’s going on around us to figure out how to make ourselves, our world, our friends and neighbors and everyone we’re connected to, better. Today’s project is an awesome photographic chronicle of each one of the 562 Native American tribes in the U.S. The collection will exhibit hundreds of character profiles, expressing what it means to be a Native American today. It’s interesting and important for us to learn and grow, and I’m proud to be a backer. Join me before November 1 to be part of this ongoing story.
My goal is to unveil the true essence of contemporary Native issues, the beauty of Native culture, the magnitude of tradition, and expose her vitality. Did you know that there are 562* Federally recognized Tribal Nations in the United States? My goal is to create a publication and exhibition representing Native people from every tribe. But really, the ultimate goal is education. If you support our kickstarter, then together we can move a step closer toward abolishing negative stereotypes, honoring tradition, and leaving legacy.