The Mashantucket Pequot nation commissioned me to do a series of black and white photographs of their tribal members; the project took 12 years and resulted in 175 portraits. Using a large format view camera and black and white film, I visited each of their homes individually, to show them relaxed and in their environment. Large format prints, some as large as 5 feet, are exhibited in a permanent installation at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in Ledyard, Connecticut. The portraits are updated regularly, and as a group portray a contemporary Native American tribal people in a revealing, informative and artistic manner.
I was honored to be part of this project because it is the first time a Native American tribe has undertaken a long term photographic documentary of their people and culture. This is important to me because my vision as a photographer is to portray Native Indians as a surviving race; not the Noble Savage or the Vanishing Race, which is predominant in many of the historic photographs. The first nations of North America continue to thrive and keep their culture alive, and these photographs are a testament to the tenacity and will of the Mashantucket Pequot tribe.