The Art Biz ep. 153: Committed to Telling Native Stories Through Her Art and Activism with Danielle SeeWalker

Native American stories are too frequently told from a historical perspective, but Indigenous communities never left.

We just drowned out their voices for too long.

Acrylic painting by Danielle SeeWalker
©Danielle SeeWalker, We Don't Speak Native American. Acrylic and oil stick on canvas, 30 x 40 inches.

In this episode of The Art Biz, I talk with Danielle SeeWalker, a Húŋkpapȟa Lakȟóta citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Danielle has beautiful stories to tell, from which we can all learn. And she’s dealing with the same stuff as other artists: balancing motherhood with her art and activism.

We discuss:

  • The symbolism in her work that came from a dream.
  • The many hats she wears.
  • The variety of art forms she works with.
  • How she decides which projects to take on.
  • How the rest of us can serve as allies for Indigenous people around the globe.

One lovely takeaway from this interview is that Danielle doesn’t separate her art from her life. Everything is connected.

Listen

Mentioned

Danielle working on a mural.

Danielle SeeWalker Quotes

“Even if all of us together, less than 2% of the population, scream at the top of our lungs, we're still not often heard. And so we rely on allies to help us.”

“We are everywhere and maybe you just don't realize it.”

“Writing is something I have a love/hate relationship with, which I have to do to keep telling stories to people.”

“People need to be having free speech and hearing about what their realities are and their personal experience is.”

“We are still here. We're thriving. We're actively successfully contributing to many communities all over the place.”

About My Guest

Danielle SeeWalker is a Húŋkpapȟa Lakȟóta citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and currently resides in Denver, Colorado. She is a mother of two, a multidisciplinary artist, muralist, writer, businesswoman, and Commissioner of the Denver American Indian Commission. 

As a multidisciplinary fine artist and muralist, Danielle works across disciplines to explore the intersections of Native American stereotypes, microaggressions, and colonialist systems, both historically and in contemporary society. Drawing on au courant color palettes, expressionistic art strategies, and her Lakota traditions, SeeWalker spins her work into a contemporary vision.

Follow her on Instagram @seewalker-art

Danielle SeeWalker

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3 thoughts on “The Art Biz ep. 153: Committed to Telling Native Stories Through Her Art and Activism with Danielle SeeWalker”

  1. Once again, another wonderful and thought provoking podcast. Danielle, I am a big fan of your work. Perhaps I saw on Hyperallergic? Or earlier through Alyson? ITwo things that most deeply resonated with me: Alyson’s bringing up the reality that many in the country seek to erase multiple stories and lived truths from the US educational system, and Danielle’s point that many feel that indigenous history and persons are just that…something from the past. Alyson’s speaking to the designation of “black history month”, “womens history month” in the past (and that is hopefully slooowly beginning to change) speak to the denial of so many that all of our lives and histories are interwoven and connected, oftentimes in painful ways. I ordered Danielle’s book because I want to educate myself further. And like Alyson, I am deeply frustrated saddened and aghast at how civil , women, and humanitarian rights progress is being erased. May our better hearts and minds prevail.

  2. Thank you for this Danielle and Alyson. In Canada a lot of verbal acknowledgement is given to
    indigenous people. Schools and business buildings have signs saying what originally indigenous
    lands they are on. And yet promises for clean drinking water have not been met, and oil and
    gas companies put pipelines through sacred indigenous lands. Love this podcast, and your art
    Danielle. It is heartbreaking what’s happening.

    Thank you for this,

    Barbara

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