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  • For the past year and a half, I have had the amazing opportunity to be part of the Scatter Their Own family.

    Scatter Their Own is an Alter-Native (a play on words) rock band group from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The band is made up of one of the sweetest families I have ever met.

    Lead vocalist/guitarist/lyricist, Scotti Cliff, is one of the most down to earth human beings, with a wisdom and knowledge that spans beyond his years. Not only is he my good friend, but he's my tohansi, my cousin on my dad's side of the family. I personally view him as my older brother. I grew up being the older brother and I feel extremely blessed to be able to have built this same bond with Scotti.

    Scatter Their Own's bassist, Juliana Brown Eyes, is my best friend whom I went to high school with. I consider her my sister. She's my creative partner and collaborator. Being a young aspiring fashion photographer, Juliana has been my muse. She has a beautiful look and elegance that photographs effortlessly. It is because of her, I have been able to put into practice the knowledge I've learned as a photographer and photojournalism major. Not only is she a model, but she herself is a photographer and studio artist. She also makes the most creative and delicious baked goods.

    The drummer, Scotti Jr, is one of the coolest 13-year-olds I have ever met. He is killer at the drums and simply a natural at it. His sister, Wahpe Waste Win, is the sweetest and kindest little girl, with a voice that will move many. Being 10-years-old, she is quickly becoming such a little professional as a singer. I can only imagine how she will sound in 10 years.

    I feel so blessed to have been part of this family of dreamers here on the reservation, where one can so easily get caught up in the storm that is brought on by the hardships people face here; a reality played out in the media. Scatter Their Own is moving fast into the music world and I know will be a success story for the people. Their positive energy and love for their music, their passion, and the people, is such a driving force for good and change in this world. They are telling the world, that Natives are success stories, that our culture is alive and beautiful, that the people on the Pine Ridge are fighting for their chance to change the struggles we face today, and that our voices are important. They are inspiring our youth, who are the future, to believe in themselves and their dreams. Scatter Their Own is leading by example. It brings me an overwhelming sense of joy and happiness to be part of this movement they're creating; and to be the one documenting it. I cannot begin to explain how great this feeling is, to be part of something so special. As a filmmaker, a photographer, an artist... a Native artist, finding such a circle to be in is important. I'm hoping through my own efforts, as well as those with Scatter Their Own, that I can inspire the youth to believe in themselves, their worth and their beauty.

    I do this everyday with my younger brothers; by being in college and showing them that there is so much they can do, I push them to dream big and to know that their voice is important, to me and to the world.

    This is the movement of my generation and the youth. It is we who are becoming the leaders and future leaders of our culture, traditions, heritage, spirituality and families. We are the voice, we are one voice.

    Scatter Their Own is currently working hard on completing their first EP. Within the past several months, they have been on tour throughout the Midwest, Northwest, West Coast, and Southwest, sharing their music and movement with people of all different tribes and ethnicities. This is only the beginning of, what I know will be, one beautiful story of success and passion. I'm extremely humbled to be right with them.
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