Voices and Visions

The project Voices & Vision of the Flathead Reservation brought together Native American and non-Native young people who live in the communities along the western front of the Rockies in the Mission Mountains. Fifty young people from St. Ignatius and Arlee, Montana were introduced to the mediums of photography and writing as means for personal and multicultural expression. They were asked to portray their homes and communities, their cultures and lives on the Flathead Reservation. Working within the safe space of their classrooms, students shared personal reflections of self, family, celebration, community and the land. Empowered with the tools and techniques of photography and writing, they explored their cultural differences and similarities with each other and their communities.

Voices and Visions allowed students to explore potentials 
interaction between story and picture, and to the process of documentation, with all its potentials for artistic and journalistic expression, and .

Writer Jennifer Finley and photographer David J. Spear partnered with other educators to reach children of diverse communities: Ms. Christy Konzen''s summer school program in St. Ignatius; Mr. Pat Pierre, Mr. Steven Small Salmon, Ms. Arlene Adams and their staff at the NK''wusm Salish Language Revitalization Institute in Arlee and at the Agnes Vandenberg Camp in the hills northwest of Arlee; and with Philippa Crawford and Jenny Meyers and the Arlee after school art program. Young people's work was shown at Hangin Art Gallery in Arlee, Montana and at the Red Poppy Art Center in Ronan, Montana.

Voices and Visions Project photographers are Aaron, Aileia, Arien, Arlen, Aspen, Brian, Chris, Dakota, David, Dennis, Ethan, Eugene, Jacob, Jenny, Katrina, Mackenzie, Nick, Page, Robyn, Wes, Whisper, Zane, and Zach.