Instagram feature: Melody Charlie is @firstnationphotographer

Screen shot 2015-08-31 at 2.56.13 PM@firstnationphotographer posts to instagram every day, and it is beautiful.

Screen shot 2015-08-31 at 2.57.00 PMIt’s not a local account, so I’m bending my rules a little bit, but I think it’s justifiable, because they’re my rules to bend or break, and because I secretly hope to plant a seed that will inspire Lil’wat Nation members to pick up cameras and tell visual stories and share them on instagram, because the captions really allow those stories to be brought to life.

Screen shot 2015-08-31 at 2.58.58 PMThis of course is all for my own selfish appetite – because I yearn to see this world through Lil’wat eyes, to balance out my own from-faraway perspectives and to inform my own ignorance (what is that plant again? what is this place called? how did this get here? why are things done that way? etc)

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This feed of photographer Melody Charlie always stops me in my tracks. I think First Nations culture is misrepresented, by and large, by mainstream media, because mainstream media is driven by drama, violence, blood, stereotypes, and sound bytes.

Three time hoop dancing world champ, Lil'wat Nation's Alex Wells. Photo by Melody Charlie. http://www.melodycharlie.com/culture-and-ceremony

Three time hoop dancing world champ, Lil’wat Nation’s Alex Wells. Photo by Melody Charlie. http://www.melodycharlie.com/culture-and-ceremony

In Melody’s photography, I see wisdom, pride, nurturing, and a dynamic culture, as well as a walking commitment to wellness, that makes me wish there were more photographers like her and more images like these, making their way into popular culture, and our collective consciousness.

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