OUTSIDE THE CIRCLE: Audio fea­tures from the Native arts scene

Reports by Christo­pher Allen and Ruth Eddy
Pho­tos by Seaborn Larson

Brooke Swaney and Joseph Grady, film­maker and actor, share Mon­tana tribal roots, but also seek to address con­tem­po­rary issues in movies. Rather than see stu­dios cast big-time actors in Native Amer­i­can roles, they push for authen­tic­ity, even if it means fewer ticket sales.



Kevin Kick­ing­woman is mak­ing music. He has been singing Black­feet songs since he was a kid, and now hosts a weekly two-hour radio show fea­tur­ing the music of the Plains Indi­ans. Joey Run­ning Crane is also a Black­feet singer, but he’s more likely to be seen per­form­ing his self-described “rez punk” at a local bar than any powwow.



Young artists like John Pepion and Dwayne Wilcox seek a fresh per­spec­tive, cre­at­ing images with mod­ern style and satire. But ulti­mately, both men feel the same pres­sure: To cre­ate ledger art that both inspires and sells.



Those who do write about their own expe­ri­ences in fic­tion or poetry often have a hard time get­ting pub­lished. The sto­ries that do get pub­lished often stick to stereo­types of Indi­ans as mys­ti­cal and spir­i­tual beings, ignor­ing the var­ied real­ity of life on reser­va­tions today. Adrian Jawort is a con­tem­po­rary Indian author who didn’t let pub­lish­ing rejec­tions stop him.

AudioSterling Book01