In addition to curating Developing Stories: Native Photographers in the Field, Cécile R. Ganteaume is co-curator of the exhibition Americans, on view at the museum on the National Mall, and author of Officially Indian: Symbols That Define the United States. Ganteaume serves on the curatorial committee of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative and is a recipient of a 2011 Secretary of the Smithsonian’s Excellence in Research Award and a team recipient of the 2018 Smithsonian Excellence in Exhibitions Award. (Photo by R.A.Whiteside, National Museum of the American Indian)
Since the turn of the 20th century, Native American photographers have taken the representation of their people into their own hands. In “Developing Stories: Native Photographers in the Field,” Russel Albert Daniels and Tailyr Irvine present original images that illustrate issues important to Native Americans today. Daniels (of Diné and Ho-Chunk descent) looks at the Genízaro people of Abiquiú, New Mexico. The Genízaro embrace the painful history of their ancestors and their perseverance in creating an enduring community. Irvine (Salish and Kootenai) visits the Flathead Reservation and nearby Missoula, Montana. She shows how blood quantum requirements for tribal enrollment complicate young people’s most personal decisions. Created in collaboration with the museum originally for exhibition in New York and Washington, as well as online, “Developing Stories” opens on the museum’s website with Daniels’ piece, to be followed this summer by Irvine’s essay.