Photo Camp: Native High School Students, National Geographic Education
“National Geographic Photo Camp has partnered with organizations worldwide to give youth a voice since 2003. Our mission is to provide opportunities for young people from underserved communities, including at-risk and refugee teens; to provide cross-cultural learning experiences through the photo workshop process; and to work with the next generation of photojournalists to highlight youth perspectives on issues of importance to all.
Photo Camp inspires young people to explore their communities through a camera’s lens and to share their vision through public presentations and exhibitions… from Taos High School and the Taos Pueblo…
“The natural world, the world of peace. I was taught we belong to the Earth. Caretakers. Making the most of the day. Being thankful for each breath. I hear the one who has taught me everything speak. He is all-wise. The many wrinkles in his skin stand for all the knowledge he’s seen through his eyes. I love him, because he taught me to love Mother Earth and Father Sky. He is the true definition of a man who has done all he can for his people. I respect this man. This man is my grandfather.”- Francisco Velande
“My personal connection with Mother Earth is when I go hunting. Hunting up on Taos Pueblo Mountain is awesome. It’s like going into a sanctuary.”—Patrick Archuleta-
“What is my connection with nature? I’m not really sure. I like nature. I enjoy being outside. In a way, I see nature like a place I can escape to. A place where I can find peace… Sometimes when I’m in the mountains behind the Pueblo, I think about how my ancestors have been to the same places I have. Also how lucky my people are to have a beautiful ‘backyard’ that we can use for our ceremonies and for our lives.” -Winona Winters-
“Bright, bold red chili peppers surround a single green chili.”
National Geographic’s Pine Ridge Photo Camp asked a group of youths from South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation to present a portrait of their community’s efforts to reconnect their cultural identity to the natural environment.
“This view of a family burial plot is particularly poignant in Pine Ridge, where poverty and poor health have driven life expectancy there to some of the lowest levels in the country.”
“The theme of Pine Ridge Photo Camp was the environment and conservation. Bison, like this pair grazing near a field of crops, no longer cover the American West, but are still an important part of Native American culture.”
“A Native American man dressed in traditional attire prepares for a dancing competition at the Oglala Powwow at the Pine Ridge Reservation.”
“There was ample time for fun at Pine Ridge Photo Camp. Here, a playful shot makes a T. rex figurine appear to lord over South Dakota’s Badlands National Park.”
We believe that this is a great way to allow young students to voice their feelings, thoughts, and opinions. Give them an inexpensive camera…and watch the magic!
”Our lives may be crappy, we may not be with our mom or dad, but we still are strong people, and we’re connected with every native, no matter where we may come from!”~Photo Camp Participant~
“…There were so many beautiful things to see, and eventually I picked up a camera to record what I found. I found that the arts (writing, photography, drawing) were a way of escaping, a way of being free. I was lucky to have found nature while other teenagers found other means of escape, like drugs, alcohol, and partying.”~Emma McCollum~Photo Camp participant
“I used to think of nature as a part of life, something that was not very important to me. Now I know that nature is what makes life. I’m looking at nature now with a whole new perspective, through a new lens.”~ Kylee Martinez~Photo Camp participant
Visions of My People, By Lee Marmon-
“Lee Marmon is America’s most renowned Native American photographer…”
Teachers will find free and Complete Lesson Plans with Answer Keys on the following U.S. tribes: Apache, Blackfeet, Cherokee, Choctaw, Crow, Iroquois, Kwakiutl, Mohawk (read about the fascinating “Sky Walkers”) Navajo, Shawnee, Sioux, and Zuni.
We also offer our unique and informative Tribalpedia which offers concise historical and current material about many Native tribes. Included are Discussion Questions for students.
Visit some of the posts from Talking Feather!
Talking Feather is an English As A Second Language (ESL) teaching website with information about American Indians located in the U.S., Canada.
There are many legends about how the Indians learned about the Talking Feather”. Here is one of them…
Long years ago, when gods walked this earth and the land beyond, Kanati and Asgaya Gigagei, were together enjoying the warm summer day. It was a day when the crickets chirrupted in the waving, green grass,when they noticed a figure moving towards them.
As the figure approached closer Kanati said “Look, that woman is crying, what could be the matter?” “I can not imagine why anyone would cry on such a glorious day.” Replied Asgaya Gigagei. “Let’s ask her.”
As the woman drew nearer, they could see her buckskin was decorated with beautiful designs and colors. She carried a bundle filled with leaves, sage, and colorful stones and feathers. They knew immediately this woman was a holy being.
Kanati asked her “Holy mother, why are you crying so?” The woman looked up in wonder, because she had been walking with her head down. “I’m crying because the men of my village are fighting constantly! Each thinks his ideas for leading the tribe is the best!” Kanati and Asgaya Gigagei glanced at one another, in perplexity. “Why, if there are so many good ideas for leading your tribe, why are the men fighting? And why aren’t you and the other members happy!” The poor woman shook her head sadly and replied, “Yes, you are right, the men do have very good ideas, but every man wants to speak his own ideas, and not listen to anyone else. They all shout and scream at one another so loudly, that it frightens the children who run and hide behind their mothers. The women are sad because their husbands come to the house upset and angry. Furthermore, the tribe is suffering, because no one can seem to make a decision.” Just then a beautiful Eagle was soaring overhead, Kanati called out “Brother Eagle, may I have one of your feathers, there are poor humans in desperate need!”
Bother Eagle replied “Yes” and shook himself until a single iridescent, large feather fell to the ground. “Many thanks and Blessings on you” said Kanati. Kanati made secret signs and prayers over the Feather. Asgaya Gigagei helped him with the blessings. Kanati then said to the woman “This is the sacred Talking Father, it holds great power for the one who holds it. Go back to your people, hold this feather up in the air, all who see it will fall silent, and listen to what you have to say. Tell all who listen that from now on, who ever holds this feather, all present within the Circle Council must listen to his words. The feather must then be passed on to the next speaker.”
The woman thanked Kanati and Asgaya Gigagei and hurried back to her village where there was total chaos!. Everyone was talking at once, children were crying, men were screaming at each other. As soon as she held the feather over her head, all became quiet! No one could utter a sound! the holy woman proceeded to give the directions given to her by the gods. She then passed the feather to the first man. He called the Talking Circle together, and each man had his say as he held the feather. From that time on that tribe flourished because they now had direction, and each person could hear and understand what their peers said. The people worked together, to build a great nation. Along the way, they shared the wonders of the Talking Feather with other tribes they met. “And that my friends is the true story of how the Talking Feather came to be!”