Artist Statement

The sun dancers were resting. Some were praying. Around the arbor each camp was busy making lunch. Joe Flyingby was sitting with Aunt Bea.
They were talking in Lakota; Aunt Bea nodded and showed Joe the shawl she had given me.
She was also asking Joe to give me a name in the Lakota language. As well, she wanted me to tell Joe about some of my life experiences, so he could interpret them. Joe, a medicine man, healer, transformer and a clairvoyant was a well-respected Lakota elder.

He focused on me and said “Wichapi Wi….Star Woman, my Lakota name. I then proceeded to tell him of my experience.

I was walking along the oceans shore in the gulf islands. My boyfriend was videotaping my footsteps, the water, the sky. I asked him to sit down and pray with me. He sat down for a few seconds and in an instant, said he was done. I was disappointed. I told him to keep walking, as I wanted to pray a little longer. I started to pray with urgency, perhaps it was begging, I felt pitiful. All of a sudden two bald Eagles landed near me and started to Eagle cry. They were abrupt with me, “Kim, everything is going to be alright!” This is what I heard in English, yet they were calling out in Eagle. I turned to look out over the ocean as I felt my nose turn into the Eagle’s beak and my eyes transform into Eagle’s eyes. Vanity struck me. My nose was growing! I shook my head and the transformation stopped. Joe sat there listening to my experience. He waited until I was finished. Now I waited with anticipation. What would he say it meant? Was I Eagle Woman? Joe lifted his shoulders and said, “that happens all the time!” Aunt Bea eggs me on to tell Joe more of my personal metaphysical experiences. So I continue with a childhood experience.My cousin Monica was sitting near the piano bench. The dollhouse was on top of it. We were playing dolls. I had Skipper or Barbie walking along the bench and going towards the living room window. I looked down to the end of the block.There was a silver disc coming straight over the rooftops! We were watching the disc come closer and closer. We started yelling! The disc was now right in front of us, hovering over the house right across the street! It then lifted up and went to the next house. We were still yellling, ‘Dad! Uncle Art” ! The disc then disappeared into thin air! Uncle Art finally reached the living room. We told him what we saw. He shook his head in disbelief. The disc was so close that we could see that there were no rivets, windows, emissions or noise. Nothing manmade could travel like that, then or now. The next day we were listening to the CHAB radio channel, other people had seen the disc. The Moose Jaw army base had declared it an “unidentified flying object.” I can still remember looking up at Uncle Art saying “seeee Uncle Art seeeee!” When I finished telling Joe about the disc he looked very serious. “this is very meaningful” were his exact words. Joe told me that I should go on a vision quest to see what Star People wanted from me. He then decided to take my sister, Dana and I up to Grandfather and Grandmother Rock, with the hope of seeing Star People there. I was ecstatic! We drove to a butte in South Dakota on the Standing Rock Reservation.
The buttes are covered with rattlesnakes. When we got out ot the car and started walking up the butte,
Joe stopped and started to pray. He told us that he had just asked the Snake Nation to give us safe passage up the butte.

We were told to follow his footsteps. Dana and I couldn’t keep close enough to Joe all the way
to the top! Following his footsteps” takes on a whole new meaning! Joe identified many healing plants as we went. When we reached the top there were Sacred stones, with imprints of the buffalo’s tracks in them.
In the rock crevices there were packs of tobacco and cloth bundles in different stages of decomposition.
Dana was emotionally overwhelmed so Joe was trying to comfort her. My eyes were focused on the sky.
I was ready to see Star People at any time! We said a prayer and left an offering, Joe says “maybe next time.
”Wichapi Wi, my Lakota name. The name Joe Flyingby gave to me at Isaac Dogeagle’s Sundance of
the Little Eagle Reservation
in South Dakota. Joe is in the Spirit world now and in our hearts.The Star Nation has always been part of my life. I would like to share Star Nation’s contributions to Lakota life through paintings and storytelling. Lakota history tells of gifts given to us by the Star Nation.
My paintings will explore the metaphysical experience.