Keynote speech “The Long Game” given at 2019 NAASA conference published in Arts 2020 journal
This keynote address was delivered by Sičáŋǧu Lakota artist Dyani White Hawk Polk at the Native American Art Studies Association Conference (NAASA) on 2 October 2019. NAASA is the leading professional and scholarly organization supporting and promoting the study and exchange of ideas related to Indigenous arts in the United States and Canada.
Dyani White Hawk Polk, “The Long Game,” Arts 2020, 9(2), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020067
We are pleased and honored to include the keynote address delivered by award-winning Sičáŋǧu Lakota artist, Dyani White Hawk Polk at the Native American Art Studies Association Conference (NAASA) on 2 October 2019. The NAASA is the leading professional and scholarly organization supporting and promoting the study and exchange of ideas related to Indigenous arts in the United States and Canada. At the organization’s biennial conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and while standing on Dakota traditional lands, Dyani White Hawk Polk delivered her important address, “The Long Game.” In it, she movingly and powerfully explores her life experiences, the history of and ongoing effects of colonialism, and how both inform her artistic practice. Her address traces the roles of mentors in her life, including the late Ho-Chunk artist, Truman Lowe, who taught at the University of Wisconsin, Madison during her time in the MFA program. She eloquently speaks to the challenges she has faced in tackling head-on hierarches in the art world that have continuously sought to diminish the significance of Indigenous art. She also provocatively addresses how artists, scholars, and critics can build the field of Indigenous art and support Indigenous artists. The address was widely praised at the conference, owing to the power and beauty of her words, as she spoke to how the past effects the present and as she illuminated a path for the future. We are grateful to be able to include her address in this Special Issue of Arts journal. Her thought-provoking address is both an artistic statement and a profound and moving commentary on the state of the Indigenous art world.