Where I come from, art is a part of our lives ever since we’re born. It is something that has come to us through thousands of years. As soon as I was introduced to The 400 Years Project, I knew it was the Cherokee artisans I wanted to feature. Growing older, my appreciation for those carrying out our cultural practices has deepened immensely. I knew I wanted to showcase those who are keeping these traditions alive. My people are bringing their roots to the forefront while maintaining a presence in these contemporary times. Historically, there’s been a perverse misconception of what being a Native American is. We as a people shouldn’t be defined by blood quantum or by an enrollment card, but by the richness of our history and artistic achievements, the beauty of what has been passed down, and how we as Native artists are able to express ourselves in a modern age.