Turtle Mountain Chippewa Documentary

I am a student in the Pierce College media arts department working on a documentary photography project about a charitable program that gives Christmas gifts to children on America\'s poorest Indian reservations.

Backpacks filled with clothes, toys and school supplies are provided in an effort to increase school retention rates of children living in poverty. This year the children of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians will be the recipients of approximately 275 backpacks.

The backpack project is a joint effort between the Pierce College Pre-Veterniary club and the Walking Shield organization in Lake Forest, California. The Pre-Vet club is responsible for assigning and collecting the finished backpacks. Donations usually come from Pierce College faculty, staff, students, family and friends.

The money collected for this project will go towards funding my transportation, food and lodging costs from Los Angeles to Belcourt, North Dakota (approximately 1,800 miles one way). This will allow me to photograph the story of the children receiving the backpacks.

I\'m also photographing the preparation of individual backpacks at Pierce College and their arrival to and departure from the Walking Shield organization. The photos from this project are being to donated to Pierce College, Walking Shield and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians for use in future fund raising efforts.

The backpacks make their journey from Pierce College to the Walking Shield November 12th and will leave by commercial truck for Turtle Mountain, November 14th.

I will leave Los Angeles and drive to Belcourt, North Dakota in Turtle Mountain to meet the arriving truck. The exact arrival date of the truck is uncertain - the estimated date is five to seven business days from November 14th.

Since 1987 the Pierce College Pre-Veterinary club in partnership with the Walking Shield organization has been trying to increase the school retention rate of children on America\'s poorest Indian Reservations.

Walking Shield American Indian Society is an operation that coordinates with programs of American Indian tribes and tribal leaders to improve the quality of life for American Indian families in many ways including shelter, assistance with education and humanitarian aid.

Donations will be refunded if not enough money is raised to make the trip to North Dakota.

Thank you in advance for your donation!


I recently completed a documentary photography project and published a book about South Broadway Street in Los Angeles. You can see my work at: South Broadway Street book

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Band of Indians: http://tmbci.net/wordpress/

Walking Shield American Indian Society: http://www.walkingshield.org

Pierce College Pre-Veterinary club backpack collection info: http://www.piercecollege.edu/webapps/news/viewarticle.asp?ID=1652

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