Nataanii Nez Cottier

Tribe: Sicangu Lakota / Oglala Lakota
Based In: Seattle, WA
Social Media: @centavotheking

About the Art
With this painting, I wanted to create an image of an ancestor I wasn’t sure existed, but wanted to imagine was. One that I could reflect on myself and make myself in the image of. Before colonization our ideas of gender, sexuality and love were different, these ideas were silenced by european christian ideals. Our identities as Two Spirit people were made hidden. I have experienced a lot of hatred due to not fitting in with eurocentric ideas of gender and love, within indigenous communities but mostly from outside them. I made this painting during a time of intense introspection, self analysis, and spiritual openness, putting effort into listening for my ancestors and holding council with them. At this time I was also thinking more into my people’s history and teachings, an internal process of reconnection, reconciliation, and reclamation of my culture and identity that was stripped from me and my family.

About the Artist
I am a Two Spirt multimedia artist. I take inspiration from my cultural identity as a mixed race Lakota and Swedish two-spirited person, and my experiences in my life – growing up in a small town as a third culture kid, my trauma, and my search for community and acceptance of my being and not parts of me. My art is how I heal my own personal and intergenerational trauma, and how I reach out to people, how I share my being. I grew up surrounded by art and come from a family full of creatively minded women. I'm interested in taking traditional art and mixing it with contemporary art, mixing my cultural identities, and collaborating with other Indigenous artists on pieces or zines.