First American Art Magazine No. 13, Winter 2016/17 - Page 17

I CREATED THIS PIECE to voice my support for the protest against Dakota Access Pipeline and what [Energy Transfer is] doing in North Dakota to the Indigenous peoples’ sacred sites. I see what greed can do to people and see the lack of support from our own country, but I also see the strength of people who believe and stand up for what is right, to protect the most precious resource that we as humans need: water. I experienced the hazardous 2015 Gold King Mine chemical spill caused by the EPA that went straight into rivers in my homeland of Farmington, New Mexico. As an artist, I can bring these issues to the public and make them aware of struggles that we all face as humans here on Mother Earth. —Shaun Beyale THIS WORK IS INSPIRED by the ongoing resilience and resistance of the water and earth protectors against the North Dakota Access Pipeline. Loosely based on Lakota and Seventh Generation Prophecies, the severed black snake signifies the intent of the protest. The seven triangles or abstract tipi shapes represent the seventh generation stepping forward to take action in a peaceful manner. The colors represent not only the Lakota but the rest of Humanity as well. —Starr Hardridge WINTER 2016/17 | 15