Northern Plains Native Americans:

A Modern Wet Plate Perspective

  

 

I have always been fascinated with the work of Mathew Brady, Edward S. Curtis, and that of Orlando Scott Goff.  Mr. Goff was a wet plate artist located here in Bismarck in the 1870's and is credited with taking the very first photograph of Sitting Bull.  I contacted Ernie LaPointe the Great Grandson of Sitting Bull and he paid a visit to my makeshift wet plate studio.  He explained much of the history of his people and their ways and this  journey started with his plate "Eternal Field".  I quickly set a goal of making 50 large 8x10" black glass ambrotypes of the Native American community in modern day.  I have since abandoned the 50 plate limit and now plan on making 1000 wet plates of this fabulous culture, a 20 year commitment.  It is a huge honor to follow in the footsteps of previous wet plate photographers that had similar series in the 19th Century.  On my journey, I have befriended Dakota Goodhouse a local historian and instructor at United Tribes as well as Margaret Landin.  They have been instrumental in being a liaison between myself and the different members of the tribes.  Margaret has been present for most of the portrait sessions.  Her role is to make sure that all the Native American elements that I am photographing are presented properly with dignity and respect.  I also am working very closely with Lindsay Schott and Emily Schultz, both Archive Specialists at the Heritage Center.  Their undying dedication to capturing all things historical in North Dakota is inspiring.  The plates that I make are being gifted to the Historical Society and their permanent archive.  This is not something that is going to be accomplished overnight, but as I add more and more plates, the series seems to have more significance. 

Opening Reception Video: https://youtu.be/HVWxpt1t8A4

My new goal is to capture 1000 Native Americans in the beloved process, at the present rate, a 20 year commitment.  I also plan on publishing 4 volumes of picture books based on my favorite plates from the series.  On November 3rd, 2017, Northern Plains Native Americans opened at the Bismarck Art Gallery Association (BAGA).  The series was greatly embraced by the community and we broke the galleries all-time attendance record.  The first 145 plates were on display.  I am proud to be on this creative path and will do whatever it takes to make the people of this great state proud.   

Contact Information:
Shane Balkowitsch, Ambrotypist
Nostalgic Glass
4419 Centurion Dr.
Bismarck, ND 58504
shane@balkowitsch.com
(701)223-9936 Phone

http://sharoncol.balkowitsch.com/wetplate.htm
http://history.nd.gov/archives/manuscripts/inventory/2014-P-025.html

Ongoing Series

Ernie LaPointe

"Eternal Field"

Great Grandson of Sitting Bull

Lakota

Dakota Goodhouse

"Two Wars"

Lakota

Greta White Calfe

"White Calf"

Arikara / Hidatsa

Scott Davis, Sr.

"Two Worlds"

Standing Rock Sioux

Kevin Locke

"First to Arise"

Hunkpapa Lakota / Anishinaabe

Dr. Jim L. Davis

"Big Eagle"

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa

Dave Archambault II

"Brave Fox"

Standing Rock Sioux

Frank White Bull

"White Bull"

Standing Rock Sioux

Mary Louise Defender Wilson

"The Gord Woman"

Dakota Hidatsa

Biron D. Baker, MD

"Stands Above"

Mandan / Hidatsa

Todd R. LeBeau

"White Bear Claws"

Standing Rock Sioux

Monte Yellow Bird, Sr.

"Black Pinto Horse"

Arikara / Hidatsa 

Russell "Rusty" Gillette

"Hooves"

Arikara / Hidatsa

Nelenah Rainbow GreyEyes

"Beautiful Night Woman"

Dakota Tlingit Navajo

Charles W. Murphy

"Shot at by the Enemy"

Standing Rock Sioux

Alesha Jacqueline YellowBird (Egan)

"Ree Hawk"

Arikara Assiniboine 

Frank L. Bull Head

"His Horse is Looking"

Hunkpapa Lakota 

Shaydee Pretends Eagle

"Artistic Woman"

Lakota / Dakota  

Rochelle One Skunk - Bull Head

"Black Shawl Woman"

Minniconjou Lakota 

Margaret Landin

"Beautiful Evening Star Woman"

Arikara Hidatsa Assiniboine 

Chase Iron Eyes

"Walks Without Fear"

Lakota  

Pete Red Tomahawk

"Iron Tail"

Yankton Sioux 

Calvin B. Grinnell

"Running Elk"

Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation

Elijah Dale Benson

"Young Coyote"

Nu'eta - Mandan Hidatsa Arikara 

Joe Dunn

"Buffalo Horse"

Standing Rock Sioux 

Regan Dunn

"See Her Tipis"

Standing Rock / Cheyenne River Sioux

Elijah Landin

"Warrior Spirit"

Arikara Hidatsa Dakota 

Tayla Blaine

"Stands on a Rock"

Crow 

Mary Agnes Martin

"Soaring Eagle Woman"

Standing Rock Sioux 

Zaysha Grinnell

"Blue Bear Woman"

Hidatsa  

Denise Joyce Kitson

"Red-Haired Woman"

Sioux (Hunkpapa) / Hidatsa 

Norma Rachelle Baker

"Red Berry Woman"

Hidatsa Dakota Sioux Assinboine 

Robert "BJ" Rainbow

"Long Buffalo"

Dakota Ojibway 

Bryann Rainbow

"Pretty Eagle Woman"

Dakota Ojibway  

Brendan "Pnut" Scouts at Night Young

"Dancing Red Horse"

Standing Rock Hunkpapa Lakota

Anthony McDonald

"Wild Horse Man"

Spirit Lake Dakota 

Leander Russell McDonald

"Whistling Bear"

Spirit Lake Dakota / Arikara Hidatsa 

Randi Hart

"Strong Eagle Woman"

Northern Cheyenne Hidatsa 

Shotay Waters

"Two Flags"

Oglala Lakota 

Dale Benjamin American Horse, Jr.

"Happi"

Sicangu Lakota  

Jonah Kyler Jackson

"Buffalo Thundering Boy"

Spirit Lake Sioux Nation  

Loren Yellow Bird, Sr.

"Medicine Horse"

Arikara Hidatsa  

Sydney Paige Shepherd

"Syd"

Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Mandan Shakopee   

Michael Gene Stillday

"Little Sioux"

Ojibwe  

Joelle Alita Bearstail

"Bull Berry Woman"

Mandan Hidatsa Arikara  

Alana Star Cosay

"Blue Bead Woman"

Standing Rock Sioux / White Mountain Apache   

Steve Yellow Earrings

"Sending Elk"

Standing Rock Sioux  

Kayla Jo Grey Bear

"Different Cloud Woman"

Standing Rock Sioux  

Ronika Lexi Thunder Hawk

"Thunkder Hawk"

Standing Rock Sioux   

Page Howe and Ja'Siah Jace Howe

"Mother with Child"

Hidatsa Arikara   

Vincent Night Horse Fox

"Horn"

Mandan Hidatsa Arikara    

Justine Marie Parkhurst Two Lodge

"Brings Back the Wounded Woman"

Standing Rock Dakota 

Adrian M. Crowfeather

"Black Eagle"

Standing Rock Sioux    

Mark N. Fox

"Sage Man"

Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation (Chairman)   

Jason Luke Morsette

"Not Afraid of the Enemy"

Arikara / Dakota

    

Darren J. Thompson

"Pipigwe"

Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe 

Sihasapa Wi

"Black Feet Woman"

Sicangu Lakota Ihanktonwan Dakota

Child Born at NO DAPL Camps 

Floris White Bull

"Brave Heart Woman"

Standing Rock Hunkpapa Lakota  

Vanessa Dundon AKA Sioux Z. Dezbah

"Going to War"

Southwest Dine' Nation (Navajo)   

Sophie Linda Landin

"Brings Back the Wounded"

Arikara Hidatsa Dakota Tlingit    

JoBeth, Amiera & Taylen Brownotter

"Brownotter"

Standing Rock Sioux     

Jerrilyn Crow Ghost Brownotter

"Crow Ghost"

Standing Rock Sioux     

 

Terry Brownotter, Jr.

"Little Warrior"

Standing Rock Sioux     

Alice Brownotter

"Red Woman"

Standing Rock Sioux 

Holly Young

"Young"

Wiciyena Dakota  

Inyan Young

"Rocky Butte"

Wiciyena Dakota  

Kathryn Marie Froelich

"Red Basket"

Arikara  

Marley Jestany Zayde Brown with Cherry the Bear

"Keeps Butterflies Woman"

Standing Rock Sioux 

Thomas Anthony Baker, Sr.

"Coyote Who Sings Alone"

Standing Rock Sioux 

Wallace (Butch) Thunder Hawk

"Brave Bear"

Standing Rock Dakota  

Anchie D. Fool Bear

"Afraid of Nothing"

Upper Yanktonai Dakota Sioux   

Khannie Saengphachanh

"Brave Red Woman"

Oglala Lakota    

Jesse B.J. McLaughlin

"Red Tail"

Standing Rock Hunkpapa Lakota    

Delaney Jayce Keenan

"Crazy Bear"

Standing Rock Hunkpapa Lakota  

Tiffany Julia Baker

"Dreams with Horses Woman"

Standing Rock Hunkpapa Lakota    

Jacqueline Wambli Situpi Sapa Win

"Eagle Black Tail Woman"

Shoshone / Lusieno    

Fawn Catherine Wasin Zi

"She Brings Many Buckskin Horses"

Hunkpapa Lakota 

Dawn Marie Wasin Zi

"They Journeyed for Her"

Hunkpapa Lakota 

Aceanna Charlize Brown

"Butterflies Brought Her Home"

Hunkpapa Lakota 

Nathaniel Charles Brown

"Respects the Thunder"

Hunkpapa Lakota 

April Shootingstar Lee

Wičhȟpi Wakȟŋ "Shootingstar"

Standing Rock Hunkpapa 

LeRoi Lamont Laundreaux

"White Cloud"

Cheyenne River Sioux   

Ruth Anna Buffalo

"Woman Appears"

Mandan Hidatsa Arikara  

Johnathon Thomas Largo II

"Strong Buffalo"

Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Navajo

Manape LaMere

"Soldier Boy"

Sioux Nation of Indians Laramie Treaties

Chief Arvol Wilfred Looking Horse

19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle

"Sacred Horse"

Lakota Sioux 

Matthew James Lone Bear

"Lone Bear"

Hidatsa 

Danielle Ta'Sheena Finn

"The Seventh Star Woman"

Miss Indian World 2016-2017

Hunkpapa Lakota, Inhanktowan Dakota

Standing Rock Nation 

Jt Shining One Side AKA Joyce T. Belgarde

"White Thunderbird Woman"

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa 

Linda Sue Black Elk

"Evening Primrose Woman"

Catawba 

Luke Vernon Black Elk

"Calm Before the Storm"

Great Grandson of Black Elk the Medicine Man

Itazipco Lakota  

Sheena Leigh Elk

"Sits Beside Her"

Standing Rock Sioux

 

Angel Lena Young and Justin Lynn Young

"Mr. and Mrs. Four Rings"

Mandan Hitdatsa Arikara

and Standing Rock Lakota

 

Good Earth Woman

"Good Earth Woman"

Arikara Dakota

 
 

Nissa Leigh McLaughlin

"The Depend on Me"

Standing Rock Sioux

 

Richard Orville Grey Day

"Wolf Eyes Looking"

Hunkpapa Dakota Standing Rock

 

Wendi Renae Wells

"Woman in the Lead"

Descendant of Buffalo Bird Woman, Sitting Rabbit, Hard Horn and Chief Four Bears

Mandan Hidatsa Arikara

 

Waylon Black Crow, Sr.

"Black Kettle"

Oglala Lakota

 

Madison and Michael Marion

"Feather Cloud" and "His Spirit is Sacred Boy"

Dakota Chippewa

 

Erica Rose Thompson

"Knife Woman"

Spirit Lake Dakota

 

Gordon Lee Decoteau

"Warrior Horse"

Arikara Chippewa

 

Tammy Decoteau

"Sits Among Them"

Arikara Chippewa

 

Gilbert Kills Pretty Enemy III

"Chameleon Horse"

Standing Rock Hunkpapa Lakota

 

Dakota Louise Eagle

"Ally"

Arikara, Dakota and African American

 

Greggory Thomas Deal

"Numu" = People

Pyramid Lake Paiute

 

Isabella Dawn Lebeau

"Sacred Meadowlark Woman"

Standing Rock Hunkpapa

 

Angela Beth Bibens

"Red Owl Law"

Santee Sioux Nation Nebraska

Thomas Anthony Bull Head, Jr.

"Bullhead"

Great Grandson of Lt. Henry Bull Head

Standing Rock Hunkpapa /

Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota

 

Ellys Gracie White Eagle and

Alycia Alice Yellow Eyes

"White Star Woman" 5 Generations

Sisitonwan Dakota, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate and MdeWakatonwan Dakota / Hunkpapa Lakotah

MdeWakatonwan Dakota / Hunkpapa Lakotah / Sicangu Lakotah

 

Joni Alvina Little Owl

"Black Foot Woman"

Mandan

 

Steven Edgar Sparks

"Eagle Boy"

Standing Rock Sioux

 

Mya Jordan Elese

"Baby Buffalo"

Arkirara Hidatsa Mandan

Kickapoo Lakota Apache

 

Myron Dewey

"Strong Thinker"

Paiute Shoshone

Digital Smoke Signals

 

Jeffrey Arnold Bad Wound

"Bad Wound"

Oglala Lakota

 

LaVera Elizabeth Bad Wound

"Her Sacred Breath"

Oglala Lakota

Miss Oglala Lakota Nation 2016-2017

 

Sondi Sioux Phillips

"Woman Who Sees Things in a Good Way"

Standing Rock Sioux

Robbyn Brett Pudwill

"Pretty Flower Woman"

Standing Rock Sioux

 

Mayjia Allison Horst

"Horst"

Lakota Sioux

 

Kainon Ezra Ayutapi

"Walks with Thunder"

Standing Rock Sioux

 

Glenna Rae Yellow Fat

"Her Sacred Black Horse"

Standing Rock Sioux

 

Dana Edward Yellow Fat

"Stops Four Times"

Standing Rock Sioux

 

Belisha White Eagle

"Tall Woman of the Grass Nation People",

Name passed down from Zona Loans Arrows

Standing Rock Sioux

 

Aliya Winter Martinez

"Brings Good Winter Woman"

Standing Rock Sioux

 

Florentine Bridget Black Spotted Horse

"Black Spotted Horse"

Sicangu Lakota French

 

Vonica Wicahpi Alberts

"Chief Child"

Arikara

Kadence Jean Steele

"Cherished Woman"

Standing Rock Sioux

 

Catera Kayan-Kay Saint John

"First Star Woman"

Prairie Island Dakota

 

Wyatt Lane Bailey

"Never Looks Back"

Standing Rock Sioux

 

Tomi Kay Phillips

"Sacred Heart Woman"

Standing Rock Lakota

 

Michele Claire Thunder Hawk

"Good Minded Woman"

Standing Rock Sioux

 

Connie Patrice Brownotter

"Returning Wish"

Standing Rock Sioux - Dine'

 

Cheyenne Jeannette Gunville

"Gunville"

Arikara

 

Charlie James Daniel Eagle Shield

"Eagle Shield"

Mandan Hidatsa Arikara

Fort Berthold Indian Reservation

 

Larissa Little Dove Fox

"Eagle Bird Woman"

Mandan Hidatsa Arikara

 

Justiss Jean Firemoon

"Meadowlark Girl"

Sioux Assiniboine

 

Amy Kristen Jackson

"Many Stars"

Sac & Fox

 

Natasha Joy Gourd

"Different Star Woman"

Spirit Lake Dakota

 

Sierra Rose Crowsbreast

"Spotted Corn Woman"

Arikara

 

Courtney Jeanette Frazier

"Frazier"

Cheyenne River Sioux

 

Grace Raune Kelly

"Kelly"

Standing Rock Sioux

Shiloh Basketball

 

Albert R. Two Bears

"Two Bears"

Standing Rock Sioux

 

Dusty Lee Nelson

"Moon of the Yellow Hair Woman"

Oglala Lakota

 

Charles Rencountre

"Medicine Horse"

Kul Wicisa Oyate

https://www.ecowatch.com/standing-rock-not-afraid-to-look-2107100951.html

Terry F. Moericke

"Lightning Comes Dancing"

Oneida Nation

 

John Thomas Eagle Shield, Sr.

"Headsman"

Hunkpapa Lakota

 

Alayna Lee Eagle Shield

"Shoots at Her in the Middle"

Hunkpapa Lakota

 

Derek Focus Smith

"To Awaken as if From a Dream"

Standing Rock Hunkpapa / Navajo Nation

 

Courtney Taylor Spottedwolf

"Flying High Eagle Girl"

Fort Peck Dakota

Noah Pino

"Owns His Pipe"

Fort Peck Dakota / Dine

 

Carter Daniel Gravseth

"Gravseth"

Standing Rock Hunkpapa / Yanktonai

 

Shayne Alexandra Reeves

"Yellow Paint Woman"

Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara

 
 

Eden Marley LaClaire

"LaClaire"

Cheyenne River Sioux

 

Jayme Marie Davis

"Thunder Being Woman"

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa / Standing Rock Sioux

 

Matt James LaClaire

"LaClaire"

Cheyenne River Sioux

 

Melanie Rose Howard

"Looks Over Horses Woman"

Standing Rock Sioux

 

 

"Empowerment Through Unity"

United Tribes Technical College Pow Wow 2016

Father John Floberg, "Nape Wakan" which translates as "Holy Hand", Rector at the Saint James Episcopal Church at Cannon Ball

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Margaret Landin, "Beautiful Evening Star Woman", Arikara Hidatsa Assiniboine

Native American Liaison, friend  and collaborator for

Northern Plains Native Americans: A Modern Wet Plate Perspective

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"Love Water, Not Oil" with Dale American Horse, Jr. 

(Plate #1 of the NO Dakota Access Pipeline Series)

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"Death by Oil" with Darren Thompson 

(Plate #2 of the NO Dakota Access Pipeline Series)

First Place Best Photograph - Human Rights Film & Arts Festival, Fargo, North Dakota November 18th, 2017

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"Tolerance by Oppression" with Sophie Landin and Greg Frank 

(Plate #3 of the NO Dakota Access Pipeline Series)

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My Wet Plate of Floris White Bull is featured in the movie AWAKE - A Dream from Standing Rock

My Wet Plates at DAPL featured on CNN Virtual Reality "Looking Back on the Stand at Standing Rock" June 2017

"Northern Plains Native Americans: A Modern Wet Plate Perspective" Opening Night KFYR TV 11-3-2017

"Northern Plains Native Americans: A Modern Wet Plate Perspective" featured in POW WOW Magazine 10-29-2017

My Wet Plate "Death by Oil" is featured in the article "Culture Shift" by YES! Magazine

My Wet Plates from the Dakota Access Pipeline are featured in the documentary PEACEMAKER by Florida State University

CLICK HERE to read "This Native American Woman Changed the Standing Rock Narrative Forever" in Swaay with Floris White Bull 5-1-2017

CLICK HERE see the Economists "Edward's Curtis's Life and Photography" Video

CLICK HERE see my plates featured in "Stone Ghosts" by Consequence Magazine written by Stephen Dau 11-25-2016

CLICK HERE to "Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's Eldest Tribal Member Celebrates 100 Years" 11-08-2016

CLICK HERE to view Emily Ergen from the Historical Society talk about Ernie Lapointe's Plate "Eternal Field" 7-21-2016

CLICK HERE see my plate of Dave Archambault III featured on the front cover Le Temps in Switzerland 12-9-2016

Documenting Dakota Pipeline Protests in Wet Plate, Fargo Forum, August 15th, 2016

High Plains Reader, "Water and Oil Do Not Mix", August 25th, 2016

High Plains Reader, "Can't Drink Oil", September 15th, 2016

High Plains Reader, "Death by Oil" High Plains Reader, "Death by Oil", December 22th, 2016

 

Copyright Note: All referenced photographs, images and logos provided above are for informational purposes only and they are the property of their respective owners.