About

Shinnecock Indians, 1884, Long Island Rail Road, Front row-L-R: Frances Bunn, Anna Bunn Kellis, Mary Brewer, “Grandma O” or unidentified, Harriet Walker Hudson. Back row L-R: Possibly Luther Bunn, Joshua Kellis, James Bunn, Unidentified, Possibly Wickham Cuffee, Unidentified.

Picturing Ourselves

As tribal members, community members, and family members, one of the difficulties we all share are misconceptions portrayed by the media.

Photography has traditionally been used as physical evidence of objects in the world, yet this very fact threatens our sovereignty and selfdetermination if we do not control our representation and maintain awareness of our continued presence.

Alberta Ashman Shippen, Shinnecock Portrait Project ca. 1970s. Photo Wickam Hunter. Courtesy Shinnecock Culture Center and Museum
John Strong, We are Still Here 1998 - containing many tribal members' portraits
Shinnecock Portrait Project 2018 - continuing legacy of self representation.

Legacy

Above: John Henry Thomas standing in front of an Indian cellar used for food storage. Photo Ca. 1900, M. R. Harrington at the Shinnecock Indian Reservation.

A visit to the Shinnecock Cultural Center and Museum will instill a sense of ancestral pride while walking through the archival portrait collection.

As we appreciate these images of our relatives, it is important to continue the tradition of self preservation and representation for future generations. Our image, stories, and resilience form our legacy and memory for our descendants.

Mapping Ourselves

Drag and Drop

On the Google Map of the Shinnecock Indian Reservation, try clicking and dragging the yellow Street View figure to available streets.

The Blue lines represent currently available Street View data that Google retains.

The Shinnecock Portrait Project’s goal is to fill this space with street-based portraits in addition to higher quality DSLR images.

Land, People, & Identity

Looking at the Shinnecock Reservation on Google Maps in comparison to it’s surrounding communities presents a unique opportunity to represent ourselves using our own means; ultimately reinforcing our connection to our land. Each of our portraits will incorporated into Google Maps as 360 panoramic image, capturing our essential presence and a snapshot of the surrounding area.

Outcome

The portrait collection will be presented publicly on the web (Google Maps and Street View), archived on a personal website (http://www. jeremynative.com), and as a printed photo exhibition at local exhibition spaces (Shinnecock Museum, local Library, etc.) Participants may also request physical or digital copies of their images and their family members.

Getting Involved

Involvement in this project will create a stronger sense of community and offer a place to voice oneself.

1 – Volunteer using any contact method on the back of this brochure. The portrait can be of an individual, a family (partial or full), or with one’s pet for example. The hope is that all residential tribal members will be involved.

2 – Choose a time & location for portrait. This will be an outdoor portrait; on a family front porch, nearby open spaces, or the street.

3 – An audio recorded interview will occur during the time of the shoot or a following appointment. This can be about personal experiences, family, and your association with the place of the portrait.

To schedule an appointment – Please click here:

https://jeremynative.com/shinnecockportraits/portrait-appointment/

Info Brochure - Click to View, Download & Print

About the Photographer

Jeremy Dennis (b. 1990) is a contemporary fine art photographer and a member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation. In his work, he explores indigenous identity, assimilation, and tradition. Dennis is the son of Denise Silva-Dennis and Avery Dennis Jr.

Dennis was one of 10 recipients of a 2016 Dreamstarter Grant from the national non-profit organization Running Strong for American Indian Youth. He was awarded $10,000 to pursue his project, On This Site, which uses photography and an interactive online map to showcase culturally significant Native American sites on Long Island.

Special thanks to MDOC Storyteller’s Institute hosted at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, in June 2018.