Standing with Standing Rock
Giclée, Jaida Grey Eagle
The surrounding photo essay by Ogala Lakota photojournalist and filmmaker Jaida Grey Eagle captures daily life in the 6-month-long protest camp at Standing Rock—from the mobilization of protesters to touching aspects of community development, such as the Kids’ Camp. Of the experience, Jaida says, “we immediately found ourselves caught in the power of this amazing Indigenous and ally unity.”
Arts education was particularly important to Jaida and other artist-activists. “We brought canvas, paint and brushes for anyone who wanted to create with us. It was absolutely wonderful to see the kids painting what was around them, everything from tipis to water to flowers and horses. Each one of their paintings reaffirmed their strength — and mine — and why we are fighting DAPL and protecting life for our future.” On display is an image of George Alexander, a Muskogee Creek, teaching a child how to paint. To the right is a photo of children in an art class, coupled with a child’s depiction of a protective water spirit, painted in the Standing Rock protest camp by Octa Su from the Omaha Nation.
Jaida Grey Eagle is an Oglala Lakota artist, photojournalist, producer, beadwork artist, and writer. She is a Report for America Fellow with the Sahan Journal covering the immigrant and refugee stories of the Twin Cities. She is also researching Indigenous photography at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts as an ongoing former Curatorial Fellow. Jaida also co-produced the documentary, Sisters Rising, which is the story of six Native American women reclaiming personal and tribal sovereignty in the face of ongoing sexual violence against Indigenous women in the United States and has recently received an Honorable Mention at the Big Sky Doc Festival. She is passionate about bringing awareness to indigenous issues, especially those which impact indigenous women. Her lecture at West Chester University, “Indigenous Photography,” is available on the museum’s website, www.wcupa.edu/museum.
For more information see: www.jaidagreyeagle.com