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Letter: Inspired by UWS series' Echo Hawk

Dear editor:

Through their Distinguished Diversity Lecture and Art Series, UW-Superior recently hosted an amazing contemporary Native American artist: Bunky Echo Hawk.

Echo Hawk's painted a large portrait of a native face, live, while he and audience members shared stories, statistics, humor and, I believe, healing. As a non-native, I was informed and inspired.

With respectful listening and speaking among the 30 or so attendees, Bunky worked fast, squeezing paint directly onto the large canvas. A face with a penetrating, somewhat quizzical gaze emerged.

As a group, we were to discover a short phrase he would write across the elder's features, a kind of graffiti war paint. We would also, as a group, title it. "When all your heads are nodding," he said, "We'll know we have the right words."

It took us a long time, a lot of ideas from whites, from natives, from students and community members. Our phrase: "I see you." Our title: "What Does That Mean To You?"

I encourage you to see the work (online and at UWS) and to look for future guests at this UWS series.

Lisa McKhann

Duluth