Indigenous land stewardship is a relatively new term, forged to compel more people to live in closer relationship with the land. As our world passes through multiple crises of our making, racial justice is the ultimate issue, and goal. As such, across many of the pieces commissioned by Nia Tero is the relationship between Black liberation and Indigenous sovereignty. A key message in these posters is the encouragement for people to get out and vote, use their voices to effect change on these critical issues and uplift diversity in leadership.
The poster on the back of this newspaper page that you’re currently reading is part of a new series made in collaboration with Nia Tero, IllumiNative, and Amplifier Art, which debuted on Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2020 to elevate the work of Indigenous land stewardship, and to promote support of Indigenous peoples every day. The purpose of this collaboration is to demonstrate how coming together now, in this moment, is critically important for racial justice, climate action and collective liberation.
The series includes a number of talented Native artists: Gregg Deal (Pyramid Lake Paiute), Mer Young (Hidalgo Otomí and Mescalero-Chiricahua Apache), Weshoyot Alvitre (Tongva) and Lmnopi. The works feature Black and Native luminaries, such as one poster portraying a famous image of Pretty Nose (Arapaho) and Angela Davis, side-by-side with the statement VOTE IN SOLIDARITY. In depicting these two fierce and dynamic women leaders together, the message comes through clearly in each woman’s voice, that gender is not a qualification for great leadership (Pretty Nose) and to be radical means to get to the root of the cause (Angela Davis). Combined, these missives for action become a potent guideline for the ways a movement engaged in solidarity has the power to make the impact necessary for structural change.
Additionally, Amplifier has launched a whole new way to expand the message through augmented reality via their Amplifier AR app, where viewers can hear from movement leaders on the frontlines of change, and learn more about the story behind the work. Participants will hear from Indigenous leaders such as Xiuhtezcatl Martinez (Aztec) of Earth Guardians and IllumiNative founder and CEO Crystal Echo Hawk (Pawnee), community organizer Tracy Rector (Choctaw/Black), along with lawyer and abolitionist Nikkita Oliver speak to the importance of Black liberation, Indigenous sovereignty, climate justice and the power of community led movements.
“As a long time social justice advocate it’s uplifting to see Indigenous and Black solidarity movements thrive in the face of intense divisions. It’s an honor to weave together our voices in uplifting this inspiring imagery of shared liberation and strength.” says Managing Director, Storytelling at Nia Tero, Tracy Rector.
These works come to life when readers scan the QR code with the app to gain an expanded media experience and understanding of the underlying stories, narratives and histories behind the artists works. This app is now available to view in tandem with art and billboards across Seattle, Anchorage, Boulder, Portland, New York, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Cleveland, Denver, San Antonio and St. Louis.
Learn more by visiting Nia Tero, IllumiNative, and Amplifier Art on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to read up on what each organization is about and be sure to pick up new copies of Real Change to gain access to our posters and help spread the message!
Read more in the Oct. 28 - Nov. 3, 2020 issue.