NIDA Contest Entry

Geri, Oglala Lakota/Jicarilla Apache/Santa Clara Pueblo, Age 20, Colorado

Oyúškeya Únpi

Throughout my life I had been trying to figure out who I was. My parents always told me that we were indigenous, but I didn’t want to be a part of it. I am now reconnecting and gaining more and more knowledge about my heritage. Family members I had, died from substance misuse and it really impacted me. So when I was 13 I had created a program called SASI (Sweet and Sober Individual) to try and promote a healthy lifestyle in the community. Now, I create art to show problems we as a community go through. In this piece, I have the red handprints for MMIW. This is a huge problem in AI/AN culture, especially with those who use alcohol and drugs. The dancer represents our culture and how we can reconnect and the animals represent freedom.

Can you tell me more about the spider woman legend?

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