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Use this form right to contact artist Dylan AT Miner.

Dylan will get back to you as soon as possible.  It should be noted, however, that he is a bit slow on his email these days.  Don't take it personally…

Baamaa pii miinwaa.

1036 Beech Street
East Lansing, MI, 48823
United States

Dylan AT Miner is an artist, activist, and scholar. He is Director of American Indian Studies and Associate Professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University. Miner is also adjunct curator of Indigenous art at the MSU Museum and a founding member of the Justseeds artists collective. He holds a PhD from The University of New Mexico and has published approximately sixty journal articles, book chapters, critical essays, and encyclopedia entries. In 2010, he was an Artist Leadership Fellow through the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian Institution). Miner has been featured in more than twenty solo exhibitions – with many more planned in 2015-2016 – and has been artist-in-residence at institutions such as the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, École supérieure des beaux-arts in Nantes, Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, Rabbit Island, Santa Fe Art Institute, and numerous universities, art schools, and low-residency MFA programs. His book Creating Aztlán: Chicano Art, Indigenous Sovereignty, and Lowriding Across Turtle Island was published in 2014 by the University of Arizona Press. His solo exhibition Silence of Sovereignty opened this spring in Montréal. Miner is currently completing his book Indigenous Aesthetics: Art, Activism, Autonomy (Bloomsbury, expected 2016) and writing his first book of poetry, Ikidowinan Ninandagikendaanan (words I must learn)

Native Kids Ride Bikes in Oskana Kâ-asastêki

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Native Kids Ride Bikes in Oskana Kâ-asastêki

Dylan Miner

 

During May and early June, I made two trips to traditional Cree and Métis territory, a place known as Oskana Kâ-asastêki. Today, settlers call it Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. I had last been to Regina in late-2014 when my good friend and Métis artist David Garneau did a performance in which he confronted to settler-colonial assassination of revolutionary Métis leader Louis Riel. I wrote a brief essay on that project here.

It was nice to be back in Regina, where I enjoyed the prairie skies and left some semaa in Wascana Lake and ran around her shores. Regina is a beautiful and complicated place. It is haunted by the specter of colonial violence and Indigenous insurrection and survivance. I was able to visit with folks at the Colonialism No More Solidarity Camp set up outside Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada on Albert Avenue. Colonialism, resistance, and survivance are all palpable in Regina.

I had been invited to town by two local art galleries – the Mackenzie Art Gallery and Dunlop Art Gallery – to host a workshop as part of my ongoing project Anishinaabensag Biimskowebshkigewag (Native Kids Ride Bikes). For the past six years, I have been hosting workshops (primarily) with  urban Indigenous youth. In these workshops, we build lowrider bikes based in traditional knowledge, local histories, and often in dialogue with Indigenous-language teachers and community elders. There are lots of reasons I do this project, but first and foremost it about creating non-colonial and non-capitalist spaces of gathering where knowledge can be shared and social relationships built and expanded.

The beauty of the Regina project was that instead of me working directly with the youth, as usually happens, the community thought it would be good if I worked with four local Indigenous artists – Katherine BoyerStacey FayantEagleclaw Thom, and Keith Bird. After working together for a week, these artists in turn spent the next month working with youth in four different community venues. I visited each workshop on two occasions, which was great, but the artists and youth created autonomous spaces in which they were able to learn skills and share knowledge collectively. Before I arrived in Regina, Eagleclaw had suggested that we useTreaty 4 – the treaty relating to the land on which the city sits – as our starting point and that each bike relate to this history. He made beautiful buttons, calling the project ‘Treaty 4 Rides’.

Each bike built has its own story and its own way of being in the world. At the time of this writing, three of the four bikes are still being finished. But for me, the bikes aren’t even the point of the project. Yes, they are important; but only insofar as being the reason we gather and laugh and learn and smile and share together on a weekly basis. Native Kids Ride Bikes is about learning how to build and fix bikes. It is about how to work collectively. It is about creating new and expanding existing social relationships. Most importantly, Native Kids Ride Bikes is a decolonial and intergenerational project about knowledge sharing that challenges dominant ways of being in the world.

Yesterday, CBC Radio did a nice 6 minute spot on the project. You can listen to that here.