Meherrin, Cherokee Nation, & Blackfeet
I am a 19 year old university student from Detroit, Michigan and am an aspiring artist who’s dream is to combine career and culture. I am of mixed Kauwets’a:ka, Tsalagi (Oklahoma), Pikuni and African ancestry and currently intern and volunteer at my city’s urban native health clinic, American Indian Health and Family Services. This summer had the privilege to work with and around other diverse Native youth and was inspired create art around my indigenous heritage. I learned that even though we as native people are extremely diverse, we share many common goals and realize we all deserve respect.
This is my original artwork of a Kauwets’a:ka woman who stands along the sea at night under a moon wearing traditional regalia. I use purple to represent the colors of the Haudenosaunee flag. She is standing near water because in Tuscarora, Kauwets’a:ka means “people of the water”. The moon is here because our calendar follows the lunar cycle. I gave her mixed Afro-Indigenous features to showcase that multi racial peoples count as well in the native community. Many times people who aren’t federally recognized feel as if they don’t count. The Meherrin aren’t federally recognized but we still count.