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Urban Cedar


artist book

In my artist book, "Urban Cedar," I seek to shift the dialogue surrounding urban landscapes by blending the oral and visual languages of English and Lushootseed. As I delved deeper into learning the Indigenous language of the land I inhabit, Tacoma's landscape revealed itself to me in profound ways. Nature, once a mysterious beauty, began to speak to me in a language I could understand.

A pivotal moment in my journey occurred when my teacher assigned my classmates and me to converse with a cedar tree. Expecting to find solace in the wilderness, I was surprised to find myself standing before a cedar tree on the University of Puget Sound campus, surrounded by urbanity. Yet, as the tree spoke to me, it revealed a powerful truth: it could thrive in the city while remaining true to its essence as a cedar tree. This revelation echoed within me, reminding me that despite living in an urban environment, my Indigenous identity remains intact. Through "Urban Cedar," I invite viewers to reconsider their perceptions of urban landscapes and recognize the resilience and beauty of Indigenous identity in all settings.

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