Collaborators’ Q&A: What do you think is the role of art in regards to real-world, real-time events? In other words, what makes a “successful” occasional or political piece of writing or art? Poet Lois Red Elk/Reed: In my Dakota/Lakota culture, I belong to a traditional Dream Society. I had a dream about Standing Rock and although I cannot share all the contents or details, the dream opened a portal for me to share some of my culture and traditions through poetry with a larger audience. Poetry transcends many kinds of barriers.
Photographer Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr. is Associate Professor and Co-Chair of Native American Studies at the University of Montana. Poet Lois Red Elk/Reed is a grandmother, poet, activist, an adjunct professor at Ft. Peck Community College, and an enrolled Sioux Tribal member.