Street Artist and activist Jetsonorama (Chip Thomas) saw his work pull together a number of people in Durango, Colorado on October 10th as the city and the college celebrated their first ever “Indigenous People’s Day”. His photograph of an indigenous youth named JC Morningstar swinging and kissing her dog was chosen by a group of students from Fort Lewis College, where 24% of the population is indigenous.
Chip Thomas. Indigenous People’s Day at Fort Lewis College. Durango, CO. (photo © Chip Thomas)
The unveiling ceremony for the mural began with a traditional pow wow prayer by a drum circle and Chip says “the highlight of the day for me was having JC, her dog and her family travel 4 hours to Durango to attend the unveiling before going to the Tribe Called Red show that evening.”
Chip Thomas. The original photograph of JC Morningstar holding her dog on a swing. Indigenous People’s Day at Fort Lewis College. Durango, CO. (photo © Chip Thomas)
Included in the days’ events were speeches, poetry readings and a demonstration addressing social and indigenous issues including police brutality and solidarity with #NoDAPL in Standing Rock, North Dakota. In fact so many small and large communities and demonstrations have been showing their support with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in its battle against the $3.78 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, that on a recent September day a map showed 100 demonstrations in 35 states and 5 countries.
Clearly Indigenous communities are eager to have their voices heard and their issues addressed. Jetsonorama says he hopes his mural helps.
A real pow wow, and a prayer. Chip Thomas. Indigenous People’s Day at Fort Lewis College. Durango, CO. (photo © Chip Thomas)
Chip Thomas’ mural of JC and her dog on the wall with JC’s family on the stage to take a bow. Indigenous People’s Day at Fort Lewis College. Durango, CO. (photo © Chip Thomas)
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