Collaborators’ Q&A: Artist Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr.: I took this picture of the sun setting as we were heading north away from the camp, and I knew we too would all return. The white weight is as inevitable as the brown resistance, the sun’s setting as inevitable as its rising. Poet CMarie Fuhrman: Following the news about my brothers and sisters at Standing Rock, I could not help but begin to feel the weight of all this white. The snow on the shoulders of young trees, became the snow on the shoulders of young people at the camps at Standing Rock, but also a metaphor for something greater that has been accumulating on the shoulders of all Indigenous people. What happens to the Indigenous people of any region is telling of what will happen to the region as a whole, the earth as a whole. How much more weight can be held before the small trees bend or break?
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 CMarie Fuhrman is an Indigenous daughter of the Rocky Mountains. Passionate about the wild and sacred, CMarie concentrates her writing and poetry on protecting cultural heritage, preserving open places and remembering Native peoples.