Amy Stonionis, Pawnee, Chef and hunter, 2015, digital print on canvas, 24x24 inches

Urban Indigenous

Heather Rae

A Space Windows

September 25 – October 31, 2015

Copresented by: imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival

There are Indigenous people in every city in the United States. Some cities were built at the expense of tribes that are still fighting for land, recognition and identity. As well, generations of Native people moved to various American cities through work force development programs in the 20th century. Many families returned to their homeland or reservation, but many stayed.

Some cities are far more integrated than others – Seattle, Denver and Minneapolis have a noticeable presence of the tribal communities that originate the area. However if you visited New York City, you may never know that you are on Lenape land and that the Leni Lanape people still live, love and thrive throughout the region. The Tongva, whose land is known as Los Angeles, are still fighting for Federal recognition. The few references to their existence in Los Angeles refer to the past tense.

Visibility is a real issue for Native Americans. Our presence is vapor-like. Misty, elusive and irrelevant to a dominant society so concerned with its self, and seeing itself really as only black and white. This series is combating invisibility and powerfully stating the obvious: we are here.


Heather Rae is a Cherokee filmmaker whose work spans three decades. She produced Frozen River, which was nominated for two Academy Awards, seven Spirit Awards, and won 22 Best Picture awards throughout the world. Rae was named as one of Variety’s Producers to Watch and is the recipient of the Piaget Producers Award. She also produced and directed the award-winning documentary Trudell. This year Rae had two solo shows of her photography series Land and People. Urban Indigenous is her newest project.