June 2, 2010
Last week, Trevor and I had the opportunity to photograph and videograph our client, Indian Health Board’s, biggest event: the annual Chili Feed. A little background: IHB has been a neighborhood clinic since 1970 and was founded to provide free or affordable health care to Native Americans and the Phillips Community.
It’s truly an honor to be able to work with the folks at IHB and to attend their Chili Feed, where patients, employees and community members enjoy the afternoon outside eating delicious chili (with all the fixin’s), fry bread, snow cones, cupcakes (adorned with pink breast cancer awareness ribbons) and listening to live music.
I met a man named Eugene who rode his bike (or “pony” as he says) an hour and 45 minutes from Plymouth to Minneapolis to attend the event. His beaded hat displayed his Indian name: Bisonette, or little buffalo. He and I talked about the history of native beadwork and he took his handmade treasures — medicine bags, keychains and dreamcatchers — out of his backpack to show me.
“No one is perfect, and they shouldn’t be,” Eugene said, as he showed me his artist signature: a single out-of-place red bead amongst several white beads. He also drew a diagram explaining the Native American medicine wheel symbol he uses in his pieces and also featured in the IHB logo.
Eugene told Trevor and I that he doesn’t like to say the word “goodbye.” “It’s so permanent,” he says. “Anishinaabe can mean no worries, I will see you again.”
Check out a few photos of the event below, and more to come as the Fast Horse team works on creating a new website for the clinic.