Two great artists have gotten together to kick off a serious debate—or what I hope will be a serious debate—about what the United States and Canada would look like if it honored its treaties with the Sioux, the Potawatomi, the Choctaw, the Chippewa, and the rest of the indigenous tribes/nations of North America.
The campaign is called Honor the Treaties and the artists are Shepard Fairey (the OBEY giant and iconic Obama posters) and local superstar photographer Aaron Huey, whose TED Talk about his many visits to the Pine Ridge Reservation—aka "Prisoner of War Camp #334"—is required, required viewing, especially if you're wondering exactly how the U.S. failed to live up to its side of the treaties with the Lakota:
Unemployment on the Pine Ridge Reservation fluctuates between 85 and 90%... 39% of homes on Pine Ridge have no electricity. At least 60% of the homes on the reservation are infested with black mold. More than 90% of the population lives below the federal poverty line. The tuberculosis rate on Pine Ridge is approximately eight times higher than the US national average. The infant mortality rate is the highest on the continent... cervical cancer is five times higher than the US national average... The life expectancy for men is between 46 and 48 years old, roughly the same as Afghanistan and Somalia.