First Nations is committed to examining and calling out long-standing misconceptions, deficits-based frameworks, and inequities facing Native communities that have resulted in the underrepresentation of Native people in policymaking and resource-allocating entities. The well-documented, deleterious effects of the pandemic on the health and well-being of Native people have renewed attention to these inequities and increased efforts on some fronts to address them.
To this end, First Nations is currently examining Native truth and justice, what these concepts mean to Native people and communities, and what pathways to healing could entail. This conversation will include discussing policy and other recommendations to advance Native justice on Native terms.
First Nations believes that including the perspectives of Native artists is essential to building a movement to advance Native justice because art is an integral part of Native culture, serving as a way to visually address complex issues, emotions, and ideas while preserving and perpetuating Native knowledge systems.
First Nations aims to construct an artistic narrative that considers what justice looks like or means to Native artists. These narratives will serve as a means to engage in a broader discussion about achieving justice in Native communities.
Call for Native Artists & Art
As part of this work, in January 2023 First Nations invited Native artists who are American Indian, Alaska Native, and/or Native Hawaiian — and who are U.S. residents — to submit artwork or an artistic production that depicts or reflects Native justice in their communities through the artist’s eyes. First Nations will conduct interviews of selected Native artists to learn more about each applicant’s artwork/artistic production and perspective on Native justice and will develop artist profiles that may be shared publicly with First Nations’ stakeholders and in a virtual exhibit.
For this initiative, First Nations sought Native artists engaged in traditional and/or contemporary artistic mediums, including, but not limited to:
- Creative writing, music, song
- Cinematic arts
- Multi-disciplinary arts
- Performing arts
- Traditional Native arts
- Painting, drawing, sculpture, pottery
Selected artists will receive a stipend of $4,000. Check back for updates on artist selections and ongoing news.
For questions about this initiative, please contact Michelle Gauthier by email at email@example.com or by phone at (303) 774-7836 ext. 226.