Frank Waln: “We’re a People with a Past, Not of the Past”

Sicangu Lakota rising hip-hop artist Frank Waln talks story with Originals First about art, education, museums and contesting the “symbolic annihilation” of Indigenous People.

Our friends over at ICTMN turned us on to this new interview with Frank Waln as he tours the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Waln reflects on the imposition of colonial narratives about our peoples’ disappearance and erasure that confine our cultures to stolen artifacts locked away in the glass cases of museums.

But he’s quick to point out that part of contesting these misrepresentations is to remind people “We are people with a past, not a people of the past”.

He also opens up about being raised on the rez, his first encounter with a certain magical reflective disc that unlocked his love for hip-hop, and the value of pursuing higher education in helping Native youth to pursue their dreams.

24-years-old and only just getting started. Waln is on the rise. Salute, brother.

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