In recent days, I’ve seen @makingzine ‘s latest issue, desert no. 7, celebrated again and again through social media. I wanted, too, to celebrate; after all, the desert is a place, in some ways, I call home, and the pattern and design of this magazine I subscribe to has always been anticipated with excitement.
As an indigenous person in the United States with extended family living on the Isleta Pueblo Reservation in New Mexico and a partner who is Navajo, the glaring omission of Natives in the latest issue of the magazine isn’t just about our recent conversations in the fiber community relating to inclusivity and diversity of makers and their makes; it’s about a longstanding belief in this country that Native peoples no longer exist--that we are in the past, that we are long gone. This erasure does deep harm; and in an issue that celebrates the place from which many indigenous people still reside and create some of the most profound fiber art, is deeply harmful. It’s harmful to me, personally, as a fiber enthusiast; and it’s harmful to how their readers see and view the desert.
There are countless examples, even here on social media, of my fellow indigenous fiber artists creating and celebrating their work. There are artists who raise churro, shear, spin, dye, and weave some of the world’s most intricate, and beautiful, rugs. They use every bit of the desert landscape and they share it with a wider audience on this platform we so love and use to engage with other fiber enthusiasts. You chose not to see them, to engage them, or to celebrate them. It’s erasure.
I reached out to Making privately to ask why the glaring omission; I did get a response that indicated some action plan and some details around the issue going to print before the conversations erupted around diversity in our knitting community.
But my question to Making is this: Natives have been on that desert land for centuries. Did you need a conversation through Instagram to realize that? Did you know, when you took those photos of patterns for that issue, that you all were walking on Native land? [CONT IN COMMENTS]