The Black Hills Are Not For Sale Time Lapse Video

On Nov. 26, 2011, Harper’s magazine Contributing Editor and National Geographic photographer Aaron Huey joined Shepard Fairey, the prolific street artist known to most people for his iconic Obama HOPE campaign image, and installed a stunning 20×80-foot mural THE BLACK HILLS ARE NOT FOR SALE. It’s at the intersection of Ogden and the highly trafficked Melrose Avenue in West Los Angeles near Fairfax.

The result is a beautiful, intriguing “billboard” that we hope will spur those who walk and drive by to educate themselves about what it means. The composition brings visibility to a group that is otherwise pretty much hidden from the rest of the nation, the Lakota people of South Dakota.

Background here:

The Black Hills Are Not for Sale: The Mural Is Up in Los Angeles. Here’s How It Got There

The Black Hills Are Not For Sale from sinuhe xavier on Vimeo.

From Sinuhe:


I met Aaron Huey at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival during May of 2011 and was instantly captivated with his work on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and his project, Honor The Treaties. We worked together with Shepard Fairey over the next several months to collaborate and bring something to the streets of Los Angeles. With help from Miguel of La Barracuda this 20×60 wall on Melrose Ave at Fairfax was secured. What you see here is the culmination of the tireless efforts of Aaron Huey and Shepard Fairey that took place November 26, 2011.

The V.O. is from this ted.com/talks/aaron_huey.html Ted Talk.

Please go to honorthetreaties.org to learn more.

More credits below:

Wheat Paster: Nicholas Bowers

Wheat Paster: Shepard Fairey

Scissors: Daryl Hannah

Wheat Paster: Chet Hay

Wheat Paster: Aaron Huey

Wheat Paster: Daniel Salin

Wheat Paster: Sinuhe Xavier

Crowd Control: Miguel

Production: The Department of Scenarios

Camera: Taylor Kent

Editor: Carol Martori

Links:

aaronhuey.com/

obeygiant.com/

barracudashop.com/blog/

sinuhexavier.com/

carolmartori.com/

The Black Hills Are Not for Sale: The Mural Is Up in Los Angeles. Here’s How It Got There

The text of this post was a collaborative project of navajo and Meteor Blades. All but four of the photos, most of which appear below the squiggle, were taken by navajo.

Invisible Indians

This is the third in a year-long series being posted at Native American Netroots dedicated to revealing how American Indians – on reservations and in urban environments – are mostly invisible, a product of long-standing U.S. policy and societal ignorance.

On Nov. 26, 2011, Harper’s magazine Contributing Editor and National Geographic photographer Aaron Huey joined Shepard Fairey, the prolific street artist known to most people for his iconic Obama HOPE campaign image, and installed a stunning 20×80-foot mural THE BLACK HILLS ARE NOT FOR SALE. It’s at the intersection of Ogden and the highly trafficked Melrose Avenue in West Los Angeles near Fairfax.

The result is a beautiful, intriguing “billboard” that we hope will spur those who walk and drive by to educate themselves about what it means. The composition brings visibility to a group that is otherwise pretty much hidden from the rest of the nation, the Lakota people of South Dakota.

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HISTORY AND BACKGROUND:

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The Black Hills (He Sapa in Lakota, the language of the people most Americans know as Sioux) were wrenched from the tribes in 1877. Starting in 1922, the Lakota have sought what has become an 89-year-long array of complex legal efforts to have them returned, so far without success.

In 1950, the Sioux Nation filed a petition with the Indian Claims Commission for He Sapa and other lands based on two factors: treaty violations and lack of compensation. Thirty years later, ruling in what is one of the longest running court cases in U.S. history, United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians, the Supreme Court ruled that the Lakotas had been unjustly moved onto reservations and 7 million acres of their lands, including the He Sapa, illegally opened up to prospectors and homesteaders in violation of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. Rather than give the Black Hills back, the court affirmed a lower court decision backing the ICC’s award of $106 million in compensation, which included 103 years of compound interest. It did not include compensation for the vast amount of minerals that have been extracted from the area.

The Sioux Tribal Council said no to the settlement, fearing that agreeing to take the money would mean they could never get back the sacred He Sapa. Thus the slogan, “The Black Hills are not for sale.” In the 30 years since then, the compensation fund held by the government has grown to more than $1 billion, and the pressure inside the Sioux Nation to accept payment has grown in great part because of the continuing poverty and associated ills the Lakota people endure decade after decade. This past August, a case brought by 19 Lakotas seeking to have the money divided equally among individuals was dismissed by a federal court to the relief of tribal leaders.

Considerable hope has been placed in President Obama to resolve the issue. Unlike past presidents, he is widely viewed among Indians to have actually listened to our concerns and promised to deal with them fairly. Since the highest court has made its ruling, only the President and Congress can change things.

Some solutions have been suggested with varying degrees of acceptance among Lakotas. One proposal would release the accumulated funds from the court-ordered settlement and turn over the federally owned land in the Black Hills and other nearby lands. Excepted would be Mt. Rushmore, which hosts the granite faces of four presidents who presided over the taking of Indian land from coast to coast. No private land owned by non-Lakotas would be part of the deal.

In 2009 the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association formed the Great Sioux Nation He Sapa Reparation Alliance in hopes of presenting a unified voice for realizing a settlement that would hold the United States responsible for the violations of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty and take action on both the land and compensation issues. Nearly 135 years after the Black Hills were taken, the Lakota people still want them back and seem determined not to sell them, not even for a billion dollars.

Here’s a video of Aaron Huey’s TED talk on the Lakota people and the broken treaties:

Transcript of Aaron’s talk and a timeline of treaties made, treaties broken and massacres disguised as battles.

Excerpt:

I have been asked to talk about my relationship with the Lakota. That is a very difficult thing for me because, if you haven’t noticed from my skin color, I’m white. And that will always be a huge barrier on a native reservation. You will see a lot of people in my photographs today. I’ve become very close with them. They have welcomed me like family. They called me “uncle: and “brother” and they welcomed me back many times over in my five years of visits. But on Pine Ridge I will always be what is called Wasi’chu. Wasi’chu is a Lakota word that means “non-Indian,” but another version of this word means “Takes the best part of the meat.” And that is what I want to focus on today: “The one who takes the best part of the meat.” It means “greedy.”

Aaron has been photographing his friends on Pine Ridge since 2004. His goal now is to bring much-needed attention to the Lakota and the history of broken treaties with the U.S. government at Honor The Treaties.org

Ojibwa has more history on American Lies and the Treaty of Fort Laramie

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THE INSTALLATION:

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Meet Miguel Garcia, in the center, with Shepard Fairey on the left and Aaron Huey on the right, Miguel is owner of De La Barracuda, a boxing club at 7769 Melrose. Miguel donated the wall for this installation. The prominent space normally rents for $15,000-20,000.

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We arrive after an 85 mph trip from San Francisco at midday and the work is well under way. They started at 11 a.m. This is Shep walking briskly along the wall, directing the volunteer installers.

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Volunteers have pasted all that can be done at ground level and are now boarding the scissors truck to reach higher spots.

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They have gone through many buckets of wheat paste by the time we arrive.

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Shep scoops up excess wheat paste.

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Shep swabs the installed paper pieces with a thick coat of wheat paste.

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Daryl Hannah and Aaron, who met her at the MountainFilm Festival in Telluride, Colorado this past May. She is now an avid supporter of his Honor the Treaties: Pine Ridge Billboard Project.

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Daryl cuts paper snippets of the image to correct imperfections in the pasting. She was on site for several hours.

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Aaron plots logistics with Shep.

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Daryl and Chet Hay (Aaron’s assistant) join Aaron and Shep to discuss some details of the installation.  

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Chet keeps the mural pieces organized.

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Lakota pow-wow dancer’s ear is hoisted for installation.

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This is Sinuhé Xavier. He knows Miguel, the club owner, and after he met Aaron, he connected the two.

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A large portion of the beautiful Lakota pow-wow dancer’s face is being installed by Shep and other members of the team.  

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Aaron stacks paper strips for the next upload.

Shots taken by co-author Meteor Blades:

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This figure with the outstretched arms is co-author navajo showing how extremely happy she is to be there.

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Shep, Aaron, Meteor Blades, Shockwave and Lara. Honorary SFKossacks Represent!

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Shep, navajo and Aaron.

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Shep’s presence being documented.

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Watching and waiting for the next hand-off of paper.

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Daniel Salin, a producer and curator for art shows and an installer for the famous international street artist Banksy, takes a break from working on the scissors truck. Daniel was connected with Aaron through Sinuhé. He has done the Barracuda wall before with Shep and photograffeur JR.

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Documenting is done from all angles.

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Daniel, Shep and Eric Becker

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The face gets closer to completion.

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Urban Indians: navajo and her daughter mangolind watch the mural’s progress.

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Aaron and Shep paste the mural’s strips on the top edge of the wall.

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Shep and Daniel, covered in wheat paste.

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Aaron finishes the last square of paper!

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He turns around with a grin.

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Aaron, Daryl and Shep pose with the completed project.

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Now for the Pièce de Résistance: The billboard is tagged with HONOR THE TREATIES.org

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Chet, Aaron, Sinuhé and Daniel are happy to be done.

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Sinuhé and Aaron snap pics of their work from across the street.

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Aaron, navajo, Sinuhé, Daniel and Taylor Kent, who documented the project with a time-lapse camera across the street.

You can browse more than 290 of navajo’s photos of the installation here by clicking the slideshow button.

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HOW YOU CAN DIRECTLY HELP THE LAKOTA:

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#1: Share and Tweet this diary with your networks.

Honor The Treaties at Facebook.

#2: Support the organization that directly helps the youth of Pine Ridge who are featured in the images above.


The Owe Aku International Justice Project DONATE is guided daily by traditional leaders and elders who speak our language and live our Lakota way of life.  This approach has preserved our nation for 170 years against unyielding attempts to annihilate, assimilate and legislate us out of existence.  Our goal is to do nothing more than continue the process left to us by our ancestors.

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Famed Artist Fairey Shines Light on Invisible Indians with L.A. Mural

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American-Indian-Heritage-Month

photo credit: Aaron Huey

Tomorrow, Saturday, November 26th, 2011, there is an important event will take place at the intersection of Melrose and Fairfax in West Los Angeles.

Harper’s Magazine Contributing Editor and National Geographic photographer, Aaron Huey and prolific street artist of the Obama HOPE campaign image, Shepard Fairey have collaborated and will produce a 20×80-foot mural THE BLACK HILLS ARE NOT FOR SALE installation before your eyes.

Shepard Fairey Aaron Huey Install

The wall usually rents for $15-20,000 and is being donated.

This is a mockup of the site:

Aaron Huey mockup of install

Melrose and Fairfax is an extremely highly trafficked intersection.

The installation prep work will begin in the morning with gathering elements and erecting the scaffolding. The actual unfolding and pasting of the massive sheets of artwork will likely start at noon. (This is just an estimate.)

I plan to be there about 1 PM and would love to have some fellow Kossacks along side me to watch this important event that raises awareness of American Indians and points to the long history of Broken Promises.

Our message is HONOR THE TREATIES.

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Today is American Indian Heritage Day

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Please share this diary far and wide.

Another installment of our new series:

Invisible Indians



This is the first in a year-long series…
(560+ / 0-)

…being posted at Native American Netroots dedicated to revealing how American Indians – on reservations and in urban environments – are mostly invisible, a product of long-standing U.S. policy and societal ignorance.

by Meteor Blades on Wed Oct 26, 2011 at 03:10:53 PM PDT

Pine Ridge Poster Project Up & Running [Photo Heavy]

Aaron Huey‘s awareness campaign bringing attention to the on going struggle of broken treaties with American Indians is surfacing in Seattle and New York City.  

I’ve collected photos from his Honor the Treaties Facebook Page for you to see the progress. If you have a Facebook account please go there and “like” it.

The installations use the following works of art from Shepard Fairey and his assistant Ernesto Yerena, these screen prints are based on Aaron Huey’s photos of Pine Ridge.

LEARN ABOUT THE HISTORY OF BROKEN PROMISES

The photos of the poster installations are below the fold.

LIVE IN SEATTLE

Pine Ridge Poster Project

Capitol Hill, Seattle

Pine Ridge Poster Project

West Seattle

Pine Ridge Poster Project

At the Georgetown Carnival in Seattle

Pine Ridge Poster Project

3rd Ave S & Main, Downtown Seattle

Pine Ridge Poster Project

200 S. Main St., Seattle

Pine Ridge Poster Project

7th Ave S and S Jackson St., Seattle

Pine Ridge Poster Project

Seattle

Pine Ridge Poster Project

Oregon & Rainier Ave., Seattle

Pine Ridge Poster Project

12th & First, Seattle

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LIVE IN NEW YORK CITY

Pine Ridge Poster Project

29th St between 6th and 7th Ave in NYC

Pine Ridge Poster Project

E 33rd and Madison Ave, MANHATTAN

Pine Ridge Poster Project

Mulberry & Houston, Manhattan

Pine Ridge Poster Project

3rd Ave and E 22nd, MANHATTAN

NYC map

Clicking on the map gives you the street addresses. It would be great if we could get more photos of these installations. Send me a PM if you can take photos for us and post them on the Honor the Treaties Facebook Page.

I’m currently putting together a team to do some “wheat pasting” in San Francisco.

ACTION!

Do you have a prominent wall that gets a lot of traffic in your city and could use some wheat pasting?  Tell us in the comments.

Pine Ridge Poster Project

Treaty Holders


LEARN ABOUT THE HISTORY OF BROKEN PROMISES

Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, known as the Supremacy Clause, establishes the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Treaties, and Federal Statutes as “the supreme law of the land.”   We start from the base assumption that few, if any, treaties between the United States and North American Tribes were honored.  The TED talk above outlines one particular case that stands as a symbol for all tribes:  The United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians.  In this history we see a calculated and systematic destruction of a people.  Although the story is of the Lakota and the treaties they signed at Fort Laramie in 1851 and 1868, it is the story of all indigenous people.  The story of this tribe is far from over and “The Black Hills are (still) not for sale.”  Over time this site will grow to become a more complete database of treaties and the treaty issues facing North America Indian tribes.  For more information on contemporary advocacy for Lakota treaty rights, please visit www.oweakuinternational.org

Honor The Treaties

Ernesto Yerena’s Newest Addition to the Pine Ridge Billboard Project

This is part three of my continuing coverage of Aaron Huey’s Pine Ridge Billboard Project.

Below is Ernesto Yerena’s latest screenprint made for this project and based on one of Aaron Huey’s images from Pine Ridge. Information about Ernesto and his first illustration for this project is featured below the fold.

I’m truly amazed at the magnitude of beauty in this artistic collaboration among Aaron Huey, Shepard Fairey and Ernesto Yerena.  

Art and Activism.

Background on this project below:

The famous street artist Shepard Fairey of the Obama HOPE image has generously donated his time. This will be available as a limited edition signed screenprint through Aaron Huey’s Pine Ridge Billboard Project.

BEHOLD

Here is Aaron Huey’s photo that Shepard Fairey based his illustration on:

Theo White Plume - Wambli Wahancanka

      Theo White Plume – Wambli Wahancanka (Eagle Shield)

FROM MY FIRST DIARY ON THIS SUBJECT:

I would like to announce a new project to raise NATIONAL awareness of the poverty on our reservations. My friend Aaron Huey is launching an ambitious billboard campaign using his images of Pine Ridge reservation. Aaron is donating his time and talent to organize this project.

I have been documenting the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for the past six years. Recently I have realized how inappropriate it is for this project to end with another book or a gallery show.

More than any project I have done in my career, the ever-evolving Pine Ridge project gives voice to social injustice and a forgotten history. I want my work to empower the Lakota and other tribes who fight for recognition of the past in order to help give them a chance to move forward.

Your involvement will help raise the visibility of these images by taking them straight to the public to the sides of busses, subway tunnels, and billboards. I want people to think about prisoner of war camps in America on their commute to work. I want the message to be so loud that it cannot be ignored.

Honor the Treaties

Illustration by Ernesto Yerena using images by Aaron Huey


Lakota Girl Reaching

Image used to create the illustration above


Transcript:

[American Indian voice: Rick Two Dogs]

You know, history, when you break it down it means “his story,” which is really the story of the dominant culture.  And we all know historically that the — I guess the conquerors are the ones that write the history, you know, and it’s really never based on the people that were supposedly conquered.

[Text block]

The last chapter in any successful genocide is the one in which the oppressor can remove their hands and say, “My god, what are these people doing to themselves, they are killing each other, they are killing themselves!”

[Aaron Huey:]

When I first got to Pine Ridge, I didn’t really get it.  All my first assignments were about poverty and violence and gangs and all those stories skimmed the surface.  And now, six years later, now that I know the real story, I realize that mainstream American magazines won’t print it.

The real story is the history — a history of broken treaties, of prisoner of war camps, and massacres.  It’s too hard to look at.  It’s too dark.  It’s too layered and too painful to fit in between shampoo ads and car commercials.  This project has reached the limits of print media.

I don’t want you to give me money today for a book or a gallery show, where everybody drinks wine and looks at beautiful pictures of suffering.  I want to take the images I’ve made over the past six years on Pine Ridge and put them on billboards.  I want to put them in subways.  I want to put them on the sides of busses.  I want to put them in places where people can’t ignore them.

I’m here today asking for your participation in a project that will illuminate a hidden history and empower a community.  This is a grassroots information campaign.  Your involvement, not just your money, is crucial.  We will need help distributing these images in your communities.

Several partners have already joined me in this cause, including Ernesto Yerena, an activist and artist from Los Angeles who created visuals for the Alto Arizona campaign.  Ernesto is collaborating with me to create a poster series based on my photographs that transcends these depressing statistics.



This collaborative image is the first of many that we will make in February.  Also joining us will be Shephard Fairey, the most prolific street artist working in America, widely known for his ongoing Obey propaganda and Obama’s Hope campaign.  If anybody can raise an issue to icon status, it’s him.

My collaborations with Ernesto and Shephard will go up on walls in cities all across America.  We will be working hand in hand with Lakota and other indigenous rights organizations to produce this work, sharing resources through a website I have created at honorthetreaties.org.

Remember, this project is not a charity.  It’s about turning awareness into action.

MORE BACKGROUND:

In 1980 the Supreme Court ruled upon the longest running court case in US History, the Sioux Nation vs. the United States. The court determined that the terms of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty had been violated when the Sioux were resettled onto P.O.W. camps, and 7 million acres of their land were opened up to prospectors and homesteaders. These camps are now called reservations.

The grim statistics on Native Reservations today are the equivalent to that of a 3rd world country, revealing the legacy of colonization and treaty violations. Unemployment on the Reservation fluctuates between 80-90%. Many are homeless, and those with homes are packed into rotting buildings with up to 5 families. More than 90% of the population lives below the federal poverty line. The life expectancy for men is 47 years old – roughly the same as Afghanistan and Somalia.

ACTION: For as little as $10 you can help launch this project.

Your involvement will help raise the visibility of these images by taking them straight to the public to the sides of busses, subway tunnels, and billboards. I want people to think about prisoner of war camps in America on their commute to work. I want the message to be so loud that it cannot be ignored.



Mock-up of a highway billboard installation:




Mock-up of a wall installation using 24x 26″ posters:

Mock-up of a subway platform installation:

For the minimum donation of $10 you get access to the “making-of zone.” The making-of zone will be a special behind the scenes page where you can monitor Aaron, Ernesto, Shepard and others as they work on this project.

CREATIVE PARTNERS: Helping me to turn my photos into powerful illustrations are Ernesto Yerena, an artist and activist who created visuals for the Alto Arizona campaign, and Shepard Fairey, the most prolific street artist in America, known for his street art (OBEY) and the Obama HOPE campaign image. These collaborations with Ernesto and Shepard will go up on buildings and bus stops all over the country. I hope to also involve some of you with distribution of imagery and possibly even in the role of a wheat pasting in your towns. Shepardard’s image will be uploaded in April.

FINANCIAL GOALS + BUDGET: $17,250 will provide funding for a nationwide guerilla poster campaign. $30k, will allow for substantially more visibility, taking the photo essay to subway platforms in NYC and to billboards around South Dakota and Washington DC, where policy makers have the power to make real change on Reservations. Expenses: 35-40% to printing posters and billboards, 40-50% for ad space, 5-10% Shipping and Travel, and 1% for website setup.

Progress so far today:

Remember that $17,250 is the minimum goal, the ultimate goal is $30K to allow more visibility.

PLEASE TAKE A FEW MINUTES to watch my TED talk on this subject, the video is posted below.

Transcript

Honor The Treaties

TURN AWARENESS INTO ACTION:

Through this campaign a website is forming at honorthetreaties.org I hope to build this site up to become a point of reference for those who want to know more about the history and the (broken) treaties of the Sioux and other tribes. There will be direct links to assist grassroots Native non-profits in places like Pine Ridge.

Our first partner is Owe Aku.

Support the Owe Aku International Justice Project,  a grassroots non-governmental social change organization dedicated to the preservation and revitalization of the Lakota Way of Life, 1851 & 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty Rights, and Human Rights.  “Owe Aku” means “bring back the way.”  Learn more about their specific actions at oweakuinternational.org There is also a donation page if you’d like to help this group. They are currently in need of a new computer for their office.

Raising the NATIONAL awareness in metropolitan areas like New York City and Washington DC will help us influence policy makers to help our American Indian tribes and reservations.

This is an excellent campaign.

AWARENESS WILL BRING ACTION

FOR FUTURE REFERENCE:

Contact info for the SENATE INDIAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

to honor the treaties:

Senator Dorgan

Senator Barrasso

Senator Akaka

Senator Cantwell

Senator Coburn

Senator Crapo

Senator Franken

Senator Inouye

Senator Johanns

Senator Johnson

Senator McCain

Senator Murkowski

Senator Tester

Senator Udall