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For the last seven years, I have taught photography to youth between the ages of 8 and 16 at the Boys & Girls Club on South Dakota's Rosebud Sioux Reservation.  The reservation is home to over 30,000 members of the Sicangu Oyate or the Upper Brule Sioux Tribe, a branch of the Lakota people.  While the tribe has a long, rich history,  the reservation is situated in one of the nation's poorest counties.  The Boys & Girls Club works to combat the impact of such poverty on the tribe's youth, providing them with the tools to become  healthy, productive members of their community. 


In 2018, I received a commission to work with Club youth to develop artwork for an astronomy festival at San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences.  Over the next eight months,  I, together with my colleague, arts educator Josee Schryer, created opportunities for participating youth to learn about Lakota celestial theology (also known as Lakota Star Knowledge) by interviewing local experts; to visit the neighboring Badlands National Park during its annual Astronomy Festival, and to photograph themselves, their community and the surrounding landscape. We then arranged the kids' photographs  into 12 large photo murals, three feet by four feet, with each mural exploring the relationships between the photographers, the natural world and the sun and the stars.


Participating youth traveled to San Francisco to see their work on display.  According to the Club's executive director, Glen Marshall, the  trip was an adventure of a life time. 

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