Indian Country Today correspondent Joaqlin Estus first reported this news: Six Indigenous artists have won $50,000 prizes for their “bold artistic vision,” and each is honored for “inspir[ing] curiosity, empathy, and action toward building a more honest and just world.”
Cannupa Hanska Luger—who installs ceramics, video, sound, fiber, steel, and repurposed materials for “political action to communicate stories about 21st-century Indigeneity”—joins Nathan P. Jackson, Kawika Lum-Nelmida, Geo Soctomah Neptune, Delina White, and Emily Johnson.
As Luger notes, it’s important to see the awards in context with the outsize impact of the pandemic on Native communities: “I’ve returned to my studio practice and taken active steps to protect the health of my loved ones and our Indigenous communities who are being affected by this pandemic disproportionately.”
COVID-19 is killing one in 475 Native Americans, a higher and faster death rate than in any other community, according to new analysis by APM Research Lab published by the Guardian and posted by Mother Jones as part of our Climate Desk partnership. The pandemic’s grip makes it both harder and more urgent to surface stories of strength right now. While creative funding is by no stretch a substitute for immediate pandemic fixes, it’s an all-of-the-above effort—art as amplifier, and material medical solutions as demand—that tells the fuller picture.