Photography by Jarrette Werk

Written by BlackbirdGo November 22, 2018
The People

While the Blackbird team is spending today observing the Thanksgiving holiday by spending time with loved ones, meditating on what we're grateful for—we also want to take a moment to acknowledge the problematic history of this holiday. We know this is a painful day for many indigenous people in this country, and we encourage everyone to take a moment to reflect on the irreparable damage caused in the wake of the genocide of Native peoples by European settlers. This Thanksgiving, we encourage you to donate to a nonprofit organization whose focus is centered on lifting up the indigenous people and communities still affected by the oppression of colonialism. Here's a list of 21 organizations that do just that.

In addition to taking this time to reflect on the atrocities of the past, we must also celebrate the people that have survived and persisted under a corrupt system and continue to work toward a better future. Here is a photo set from photographer Jarrette Werk. Werk attends the University of Nevada and is a vocal advocate for the equal treatment of indigenous people.

"I included some contemporary photos as well [in the photo set], because as an Indigenous photographer, I feel it’s extremely important that we are seen as contemporary people and not just people of the past.

Our history has been told through the lens of a white man. There have been outsiders that come into our communities and try to capture what they deem 'Native American,' and unfortunately it usually ends up being portrayed as stereotypical and sometimes racist. They have good intentions, but most of the time they are just uneducated about Indigenous culture.

I always try to incorporate some kind of cultural aspect into my photography, whether that be full blown regalia, beaded accessories or supporting Indigenous clothing brands.

It’s important we reclaim our narrative and share our stories."


Brands featured:
- Vosq Clothing Co.
- Indigenous Enterprise

Disclaimer: Keep out of reach of children. For use only by adults 21 years of age and older.