A Past to Present Insight of Native American People and Culture
“As a Native American, I am often approached with curiosity and a need for insight by my non-Native peers–both American and non-American, various educators and curious people in general that know little to nothing of our U.S. history as it relates to Native American cultures. They are curious about language, beliefs, land connection, my thoughts on things like Columbus or Thanksgiving and overall, curious about my experience in working with Native communities all around the United States. What I have found, and what has inspired me to want to write this book, is that even most Americans do not know the true history of American Indian people and in some cases, that we even still exist today! It’s not uncommon for me to hear “wow, you’re the first Native American I’ve ever met…” or “do you believe in thanksgiving” or “what exactly is an Indian reservation and is it really sovereign?” I wanted to write a quick, easy-to-read book that addresses a lot of these questions and topics as well as offer a high-level overview of the history and culture of Native American peoples in the U.S. I wanted this book to be for someone who knows little to nothing about American Indian people and to be able to read this text and take away some accurate facts and not continue to perpetuate romanticized ideas or micro-aggressions toward of Native American people and culture. The index of chapters* highlight many of the topics that I thought were important. It was also important for me to highlight, through images and quotes, some of the people that Carlotta and I have worked with throughout the years and also the places we’ve visited around Indian country in order to put a personal touch on the book and bring relevance to some of these topics to the present time.”–Author Danielle SeeWalker
✒️ Danielle SeeWalker (1983, North Dakota, USA) is a Hunkpapa Lakota artist, activist and mother of two based in Denver, Colorado. She is also the second half and writer of The Red Road Project. Danielle is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota where she was born and raised, and descends from the Hunkpapa Lakota chief, Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake (Sitting Bull). Because of the historical stigma often associated with being Native American (particularly in North Dakota where she grew up), Danielle was ashamed to identify as American Indian as a young girl. That experience has fueled her passion and dedication to this project with hopes to inspire Native American youth and the Native communities in general. Today, Danielle studies and lectures on Native American culture in the 21st century and how historical and contemporary American Indian issues play a part. Danielle has a background in sociology, anthropology, psychology and Native American studies at Albright College (BS) and Kutztown University (MA).
📷 Carlotta Cardana (1981, Verbania, IT) has been working as a photographer for over ten years. After her studies in Italy, she began freelancing first in Argentina and then in Mexico; since 2011 she has been based in London. Her commissioned work involves shooting portraits, travel and culture features for magazines such as The Guardian Weekend, The Times, The Evening Standard, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, De Volkskrant, L’OBS, Vanity Fair, Der Spiegel, Marie Claire. In her personal practice, she looks at indigenous spirituality, the relationship between humans and their environment and at how one’s identity is shaped by the space he/she inhabits. Carlotta’s work has been awarded and exhibited in numerous international galleries and festivals and is included in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery and the Parliamentary Art Collection. A selection of images from her series The Red Road Project is on permanent display at the American Museum of National History in New York.
📎 Lorena Carbonara (1981, Monopoli, IT) is a tenure-track researcher at the University of Calabria, Italy, and a member of the international research group “S/Murare il Mediterraneo” (“Un/Walling the Mediterranean”). She worked at the University of Bari, Italy, from 2005 to 2018 teaching English language and translation and Anglo-American literary and visual cultures. Her main research areas include American Studies and Native American Studies, critical discourse analysis, ELF and the linguistic/visual (self)representation of migration.
She has published extensively on these subjects. She coordinated two research projects: “Traduzione audiovisiva, saperi interdisciplinari e nuove professionalità” (Future in Research/Regione Puglia/Università di Bari) and “Accessibilità, Audience Development e Audiovisual Literacy” (Centro Studi e Ricerche di Apulia Film Commission/Università di Bari). She is the speaker of VoxFem Italy, a radio program showcasing music created by women from every country and occupied territory on Earth, centering languages other than English, acts of liberation, women of color, LBT/two spirit artists, & original work.
Poster shows a Native American and the Declaration of Independence printed in the background. Pedersen, B. M. Declaration of Independence, New York, the S.D. Scott Printing Company, inc., between 1970 and 1980. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2015646430/.