I took a drive from St. Louis to Seattle in 2013, with the goal of visiting a few places with historic significance to the story of American Indians/Native Americans. Oddly enough, the first thing I took a picture of was an electric box in St. Louis, by the light rail station, which had been painted with scenes of a buffalo hunt. I thought this must have been a locally supported art project, and I really liked these pieces. The same day I visited the Museum of Westward Expansion, under the Gateway Arch, which has a superb exhibit of the story of the West, including the loss of lands, conquest, and cultural collapse of bands who once called the American West their own.
This summer, I was passing through The Dalles, Ore., and saw the side of a local store that was painted with a mural telling the story of the treaty signed by the U.S. Government and Oregon tribes, which ceded much of the state to the United States. Large mural art by Alaskan Natives and American Indians can be found throughout the United States, but also in Canada and Mexico (by their first nations and indigenous artists). When you see something bold and creative, stop for a moment and think about the story. The art tells the tale of the land you are standing on. And the story is long, complex, and continuing.
(Please click on each photograph to see a larger picture on a separate picture page.)