New and Dangerous Ideas



My motivation for this piece was to shed light on what it is like growing up with a heritage, knowing it from your experience and family, and yet, having people challenge you your whole life to prove it. No one questions my German, Irish, or Finnish ethnicity, but, since I don’t match the stereotype of a Native American, I am constantly challenged.The image on my painting depicts my twin sister, Indigo, the only one of us five kids to have blonde hair and blue eyes, from my mother’s mother and my father’s mother and father. Having a mother who was not my skin color, raised questions.This is an inevitable part of the multiracial (and also adoption, though this was not my case) experience. I have noticed over the years that even other natives can be prejudiced when it comes to native-only spaces, like pow wows, where there are competitions of different styles of dance. Picking the winner sometimes rests on who looks the best to represent the part, not necessarily based on dance skill.