Collaborators’ Q&A: Artist Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr.: This work made me think of the helicopter and plane that circled us, made me think back to what that being watched must have been like for the ancestors, and what has always been the fear that the settlers and their armies had then, have now, and cannot or will not lose. Poet Claire Hermann: In the short time I spent at Sacred Stone Camp, I was struck by two unexpected experiences. The first was the strangeness of being in such a beautiful natural setting while having spotlights on us all night, drowning out the stars and making it possible to walk around camp without a flashlight, and hearing the constant noise of airplanes, helicopters and drones. The second was the constant, powerful grounding of the daily life of the camp in prayer and ceremony.
Photographer Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr. is Associate Professor and Co-Chair of Native American Studies at the University of Montana. His short story collection about sort of growing up in Chicago, Sacred Smokes, will be out in 2018. Poet Claire Hermann lives in central North Carolina, where she raises funds and tells stories for progressive nonprofits.