Exist, Express, Embrace - Beyond Indigenous Peoples' Day
Exist, Express, Embrace - Beyond Indigenous People’s Day Gallery Walk seeks to create an immersive and educational experience that highlights the rich and diverse cultures of Indigenous communities through their art forms. This event aims to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of Indigenous traditions, storytelling, and artistic expressions, while also providing a platform for Indigenous artists to showcase their talents and connect with a wider audience.
We acknowledge that this land, which is named for the Ute Tribe, is the traditional and ancestral homeland of the Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute, and Ute Tribes. The University of Utah recognizes and respects the enduring relationship that exists between many Indigenous peoples and their traditional homelands. We respect the sovereign relationship between tribes, states, and the federal government, and we affirm the University of Utah’s commitment to a partnership with Native Nations and Urban Indian communities through research, education, and community outreach activities.
To learn more about the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ute Indian Tribe and the University of Utah visit https://ute-mou
2023 Featured Indigenous Artists
About the Artist
Mer Young (Chichimeca & Apache) is an Indigenous published multidisciplinary artist who has created a body of artwork manifested in collages, drawings, paintings, and founder of Mausi Murals public artworks. She lives and works on the traditional lands of Tongva (Long Beach, CA). She is a BIPOC activist, steward of land and water and environmental justice advocate. Young's artworks aim to inspire, celebrate and elevate indigenous and native cultures and to bring about change within Brown and Black communities.
Young’s works have been included in numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally. Her public art works can be found in the East Village Arts District of Long Beach, CA, in The Sixth and Ninth District of Long Beach, CA, in The City of Glendale, CA, The City of South Pasadena, The City of San Pedro, The City of Paramount, The City of Anaheim, The City of Tustin and in the Art District of Los Angeles and the 3rd Ward in Houston, Texas.
Young holds Associate Degrees in Fine Arts and Liberal Arts from Long Beach City College and received her Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree from The University of Southern California. She also received Teaching Artist Certificate from California State Los Angeles and is currently working on obtaining Single Subject Credential Program (Art Education) from Puvungna | California State University Long Beach.
Learn more about Mer and their art at www.meryoung.com
2023 Student Artists
Hello, I am Dine (Navajo) born and raised on the Navajo Nation, NM. I am a transferred student from San Juan College in Farmington, NM. I moved to Salt Lake City to study Medical Laboratory Science at University of Utah. I love weight lifting, spending time with my family, and adventuring the outdoors.
My first interest in media was videography, but that changed when I stumbled upon a black camera case in a bookstore for $85 with a Canon FTb film and three lenses. After inserting a new film roll, I took pictures of everything around me. I sent my first film to be developed after 10 rolls, and when I saw the photographs, I fell in love with the beauty of film photography. As I am starting to reconnect with my culture, I want to use film photography to capture my Navajo culture and share other indigenous cultures.
Deana is an undergraduate student at the University of Utah studying Health and Kinesiology. Deana is a citizen of the Navajo Nation, hailing from Gallup, New Mexico. Deana is a passionate leader working as a student employee in the Center of Equity and Student Belonging, where she plans and implements programs related to BIPOC student belonging.
In addition to her work, Deana spends much of her time as an intern for the UofU football team, where she engages in sports medicine development and where she works closely with the Pac-12 football team. Deana also participates in activities that highlight her cultural heritage, such as being the Liaison of the UofU Intertribal Student Association group and committee member of the annual UofU Powwow.Deana is a member of the inaugural CIRCLE Program at the UofU where she has engaged in the CIRCLE Program book club, group discussion, and the renaming of one of the UofU’s Gardens.
Deana was currently crowned as Miss American Indian Women Scholar 2023-2024 at the university. She is a representative for Indigenous students and is dedicated to building stronger connections with the student body, promoting leadership, cultural awareness, and student engagement in higher education.
Boohoo (hello) everyone!
Growing up, my siblings and I would ask our father for details about our family history with residential schools. These stories always saddened me because they illustrated how residential schools were in a way successful at achieving the erasure of Indigenous people and traditions.
From old documents and journals, my father learned that his grandfather spent a few months in the residential school system and thankfully was able to return home safely. Every time time I sit down to bead, I always remember the traditions that I am lucky to be able to practice were ones that my father and many other Indigenous ancestors fought and died for. Everyday is a good day to be Indigenous and Native American Heritage month is just an extra special to appreciate who I am as a Native woman and share that with my colleagues and peers.
Miigwech (thank you) for taking the time to appreciate my work!
2023 Virtual Gallery Walk
Click Here To View 2020 Indigenous Peoples' Day Gallery Walk
IllumiNative is a national, Native-led nonprofit committed to amplifying contemporary Native voices, stories and issues to advance justice, equity and social impact. In the Indigenous Peoples' Day toolkit, you will find case studies, key questions and answers, messages, a comprehensive how-to-guides on advocating to your representative and building a coalition, and more.
Native Places Atlas
Native Places is a spatial humanities project from the American West Center. It consists of an interactive, layered map centered on Utah that encompasses the homelands of the state’s traditionally associated tribes. The interactive map records and restores indigenous place names to major landscape features and selected historical and cultural sites in Utah.
Native Knowledge 360°
Native Knowledge 360° (NK360°) provides educators and students with new perspectives on Native American history and cultures. NK360° provides educational materials, virtual student programs, and teacher training that incorporate Native narratives, more comprehensive histories, and accurate information to enlighten and inform teaching and learning about Native America.
American Indian Resource Center
The mission of the American Indian Resource Center (AIRC) at the University of Utah is to facilitate the social, academic, and cultural engagement of American Indian and Alaska Native students, staff, trainees, and faculty through cultural affirmation, academic and professional development, and post-graduation preparation for undergraduate students. Additionally, the AIRC serves all tribal nations as the cultural conduit to both tribal communities and the University of Utah by affirming tribal sovereignty and self-determination.