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A very beautiful image of these smiley blackfoot. It seemed everything was alright…

Photograph by Mary T. S. Schaffer in 1907.

I just love how humanizing this is, it’s the first time I’ve seen us not depicted as the stoic archetype of this period

Pictured here are Sampson, Frances Louise, and Leah Beaver who actually were very close friends with the photographer and were regular subjects of her work. It’s amazing what happens when you view us as people rather than museum objects – you capture us as people, as friends, as lovers, as parents rather than the stoic image of genocide and colonialism in-progress. 

If you’re interested in learning more about female photographers and how they aided in representing native peoples through positive representation and ethical photography, I would suggest reading “Trading Gazes.” Mary T.S. Schaffer and other influential female photographers, and friends, of native peoples are given some much-needed recognition in this book while also discussing the white woman’s place in our genocide and colonization. 

Author: Zeenah

Zina writes about comics, nerd history, and ridiculous romance novels when not working frantically on her first collection of short stories and complaining about stuff. One day, she'll settle down and write that novel.