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Where the endless plains are abruptly transacted by the dramatic Rocky Mountains lies Blackfeet Country. A small community of people call this place home and this project is about the young people of that community. It is a glimpse into their world as they see and live it. Through my photographs, I want to show the triumphs and struggles that are unique to these youth. This project explores the power of place and illustrates how the natural environment and the challenge of reservation life affect a child’s experience.
These challenges unite the community and further strengthen family and neighborly bonds. In the absence of material excess, the children’s imaginations flourish. Without tightly packed schedules of extracurricular activities or the latest video games, children are drawn outdoors to explore and adventure.
My goal in this body of work is to honor the enduring strength, resilience and wisdom of these youth. The project speaks to a universal childhood.
The next step is to use this photo project as a foundation for advocacy. I want to give back to this community. I feel a profound sense of gratitude for having been allowed into their lives. And I feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of that. Am I going to be able to help these kids somehow? I am looking to partner with an appropriate organization to further those efforts.
I am thrilled that liveBooks was willing to donate one of their beautiful photography website templates to my project. It brings new eyes to the Blackfeet Reservation – individuals who might not otherwise see this place or meet these powerful kids.
Currently I am creating video interviews of some of the children. This multimedia approach is a much richer, collaborative dialogue where the kids will be able to speak for themselves. To keep up with these children visit my website Grown Up West: Children: Children of the Blackfeet Reservation.