Honor the Treaties is a short ﬁlm that examines photographer Aaron Hueyʼs powerful advocacy work for Native American rights on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The ﬁlm explores the idea that journalists often ʻget the story wrong.ʼ Using Aaronʼs seven-year experience as a photographer on the Pine Ridge Reservation, we examine the idea of growth and change in relationship to telling a story. Aaronʼs advocacy work began with his 2010 TED Talk calling for the return of the Black Hills to the Lakota Sioux. Viewed online over 800,000 times, the talk caught the attention of legendary street artist Shepard Fairey, who, along with artist Ernesto Yerena, teamed up on a nationwide poster campaign based on Aaronʼs images.
In November 2011, Shepard and Aaron installed a sixty by eighty foot mural, based on a collage of Aaronʼs images, in Los Angeles. Aaronʼs movement into advocacy is shown in our ﬁlm through his collaboration with Fairey. Juxtaposing the urban environment of Los Angeles against the stark, rural poverty of Pine Ridge, the ﬁlm seeks to draw connections between art & advocacy, ultimately making a case for empowering individuals to ʻtell their own stories’.
Honor the Treaties is an organization dedicated to amplifying the voices of indigenous communities through art and advocacy. We do that by funding collaborations between Native artists and Native advocacy groups so that their messages can reach a wider audience. Every shirt sold through this campaign helps support a Native artist and their work with a partner organization. All funding is channeled through The Lakota People’s Law Project.