“A large part of the modern Indigenous experience is protest”
The “Standing Rock Is Everywhere” t-shirt, designed by Emma Robbins, speaks to the collective experience of oppressed, marginalized and underrepresented peoples everywhere. Standing Rock is the name of the Sioux Reservation of North Dakota and its tribe, whose lengthy and ongoing battle (joined by thousands of diverse Indigenous people, environmentalists, and activists) against the Dakota Access Pipeline has drawn international attention. Since the protests began in 2016 the community of protestors have become a force against oppression and are recognized world-wide. The protests brought together over 200 tribes that have not united for more than 150 years, drawing the largest gathering of Indigenous people in the past 100 years. It is this communal experience of diverse individuals coming together for the greater good, united in a common goal that The Chapter House.org recognizes and is aligned with, in purpose, action, and in spirit.
Stella Ishii, the founder and creative director of 6397, first collaborated with Emma Robbins in 2020 with her “TÓ Éĺ ĺĺNÁ ÁT’É “(WATER IS LIFE in the Diné language) t-shirt, an ongoing project where sales proceeds of the t-shirt are donated to The Navajo Water Project. Run under the auspices of Dig Deep, NWP provides access to running water for people living on the Navajo Nation, 30% of whom lack a toilet or tap in the home. Stella has travelled to the reservations numerous times over the years and witnessed first-hand their lack of water. With this new project Stella hopes to continue her support of Emma and her efforts to make a better world, not only for the Navajo people but for persons everywhere.
Photographs by Emma Robbins from her on-going series “5,712”, 2019-2020
On the Navajo Nation, a Chapter House is a municipality’s seat of government, but it is also a community center where residents of all ages can meet, discuss local issues, attend classes, participate in exercise, and receive assistance. The Chapter House.org is an Indigenous exhibition, community and empowerment space based in Los Angeles, founded in 2020 by artist, activist and Dig Deep executive Emma Robbins. The Chapter House is a cultural hub for Indigenous Peoples, Cultures and friends, exploring the complexities of the 21st Century Indigenous experience. Art is viewed as a part of Indigenous life, and it is vital to include Art as a part of discussions, healing, and solutions. Programs include ongoing exhibitions, film screenings, round-table discussions, art classes, wellness circles, and the promotion of healthy eating. Currently, The Chapter House operates only online. By 2022, they will operate in three physical areas: Los Angeles, the Navajo Nation, and also as occasional pop-up spaces in cities across the Americas. The Chapter House sincerely hopes to inspire others to open similar art spaces across the Navajo Nation.
L.A River Paper, Emma Robbins
Continuation, Catalina Aranguren
San Juan River, Colleen Cooley
Images from an on-line Chapter House exhibition “but when you come from water”
All sales proceeds from “The Standing Rock is Everywhere” t shirt will benefit the Chapter House.org.