Hear series advisor Loriene Roy discuss this image
About the Photo

Bob Charlo (Kalispel) took this photograph, titled "Nespelem," in summer 1992 on the Colville Reservation in central Washington State. Charlo was attending the annual powwow in the small community of Nespelem when he spotted the lone teepee set against the dramatic cloud formation. Over the years, he has answered many questions about the photograph, particularly about what it represents and how viewers should interpret the American flag flying over the teepee. Charlo says, "To me it represents that we — Native people — are still here and still vibrant. We are not a conquered people. We are a contributing people."

Bob Charlo holds a fine arts degree from the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, a bachelor of arts from the University of Washington, and a masters in education from Antioch College. He owns and operates BUFFALO RIVER – Fine Art Photography and teaches photography to tribal and at-risk youth. Charlo spent his early years on the Kalispel Indian Reservation and currently lives outside of Seattle.

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