Art Reception: John Willis
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Friday, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. "MNI Wiconi: Honoring the Water Protectors" at Vermont Center for Photography, 49 Flat St., Brattleboro. A look at the inequality in the lives of indigenous people

From the Artist:

As a person of Eastern European decent, I never knew my family's heritage other than to say I was Jewish American growing up in suburbia. I'd always been taught we are all the same, Americans coming from the cultural melting pot.

For over twenty-five years now, I have been welcomed into the community of the Oglala Lakota Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. I've felt continually humbled by the traditions of the Oglala Lakota people whom greet me with openness, and one of their most sacred values generosity.

Recently in 2016, I spent eight weeks over multiple trips at the Oceti Sakowin Camp (Camp of the Seven Council Fires) in North Dakota just above the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. There I contributed my time witnessing and assisting the camp media group, participating in the Indigenous led prayerful movement against the Dakota Access Pipe Line. The project here, along with other on-going work I've made over the years, attempts to look at the inequality the indigenous people live within their own homeland metaphorically questioning what I see as our society's skewed values, while also recognizing how much of value we all can learn from indigenous traditions.