My life’s work is to advocate for communities with photography and raise awareness around important issues, such as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR).
The images that follow were created with people from all four directions of Minnesota who came together in 2019 and 2020 as part of an MMIR Minnesota 4 Directions Awareness Gathering to share their stories and stand in solidarity, in prayer, and for strength.
Each of my subjects has a story. They include social workers, advocates, survivors, and their families. I shared the images with women-focused services, including MMIW 218, Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition, National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, and the MMIW Task Force, which use the images for informational activities in the community. Hennepin County Library is building a QR code that will feature one of my photographs and a link to Hennepin County Library’s MMIW online resource guide.
This project is intended to give visibility to those who remain silenced, give power to survivors to come forward, and advance the movement to end injustices. My work is rooted in community engagement and healing through art. I intend to put communities in control of their stories and in positions to feel safe so we can discuss our traumas and find ways to heal together.
We all have stories. We all have traumas. It is a painful journey to help women through this. I always sage after I take these images because the pain is unbearable. I think about my cousins who were murdered and how that grief trickles into other incidents in our family. Through art, we heal, seek hope, and stand in solidarity.
Ne-Dah-Ness Rose Greene (she/her) is an emerging photographer and activist of Leech Lake Nation. Her current exhibitions include Maada’ookii (She Shares Hers Gifts) at Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center. Ne-Dah-Ness continually challenges herself to engage people in her creative process.