Pamela J. Peters is an Indigenous multimedia documentarian from the Navajo Reservation. Her multimedia work, which she call "Indigenous Realism", explores the lives and diversities of real American Indians and pushes viewers to critically analyze the psychological and historical structures of Native Americans in mass media.
This is my new photography project #RepresentYourTribalNation to commemorate #IndigenousPeoplesDay in Los Angeles. I want a larger audience to see us as contemporary natives in the city, but also see our tribal flags and the diversity that exists within a city like Los Angeles.
My love of this city is shown in the photographs I take. One place in particular that I love is Union Station. I love Union Station for two personal reasons. First, because it’s beautiful and has a deep history to Los Angeles that has been preserved since 1939.
When I began sharing that I was Diné (Navajo), most folks didn’t know what that meant, so I had to say American Indian or Native American. Then I would get a slew of different responses like, “Oh, I thought all Indians were dead.” Or, “You mean like Pocahontas?”
Leaving was the beginning, but eventually I came to understand that it wasn’t enough. I needed to go back to school. This may seem obvious, but to me it wasn’t. Higher education was never a value instilled in me—my parents only told me to find a job and not depend on others.
As a Navajo living in the city, I want our history to be remembered and acknowledge. We are part of Los Angeles History too!