Indigenous Artist Spotlight: Dove Little Home (Blackfeet, Cree, Two-Spirit, Lesbian)
June is PRIDE month, and we are delighted and honored to spotlight the very talented Blackfeet and Cree, Two-Spirit lesbian artist, Dove Little Home. Read on to learn more about their inspiration, artistic style, accomplishments and where you can go to support/purchase/commission their work!
Preferred pronouns: they/them xe/xir
Please introduce yourself:
Okii, tanisi! I am a mixed Blackfeet and Cree Two-Spirit lesbian who creates art reflecting my cultures and Two-Spirit love. I am currently working on earning my BA in Anthropology with a concentration in Environmental Preservation. You can follow me on Instagram @dovelittlehome.art for my artwork.
Q: What does being a member of the LGBTQ2S+ community mean to you?
A: Being Two-Spirit connects me to LGBTQ of my own community which helps me feel more authentic to myself and my overall identity. It’s important Two-Spirit are given a distinction that the identity only belongs to Indigenous peoples of the Americas. We represent history and culture that was almost wiped out, it’s why I don’t feel the same kinship to just anyone within the LGBTQ community because it’s one of the many varying gender/sexuality binaries that’s not yet fully understood or wrongly assumed to be the same as “nonbinary” when there’s much more to it. Being a lesbian gives me great pride as well because I’m a mixed Native lesbian. My identity is not told in traditional love stories or portrayed from a historical context yet I know there’s many like me and always existed.
Q: How has it shaped your art?
A: Being lesbian and Two-Spirit is a large part of my artwork and it’s what inspired me to create cultural art starting around 2019. I create artwork that's important to me as a person and representation I'd want to see in the world and hope it resonates with others who need it. It feels good to create artwork that’s important culturally and highlights specific genders and sexualities that still fight for recognition within many Tribes for marriage or to simply exist without discrimination.
Q: What is your favorite medium?
A: I love working with digital art, I create my work on Clip Studio Paint with a XP-Pen Artist 12 tablet. I’ve worked with digital art for a long time yet my art is still developing and will continue to change year by year. If I were to work with traditional art I’d prefer to use watercolors.
Q: Who/what inspires you, your art?
A: My cultures, my sister, and my religion inspires my artwork. I always try to incorporate cultural symbolism specific to my Tribes or mixed ethnic background into my art. Usually I represent outer space in my work because it’s so significant and there’s so many ways to mix cultural symbols within stars. My sister is a big inspiration too. She's a rising star within Indigenous artwork and mural work within the Duwamish and Salish regions so I ask for advice or watch how she works with color. You’ll find her under @gobsofcolor on Instagram as well to see why I’m inspired. I try to be more quiet regarding religion because I like it to remain personal and I’ve just taken a new path to revert to Islam but there’s hints or pieces of Judeo-Islamic influence within what I do now and then as well. When all of this is combined you can see how my art tends to come together piece by piece.
Q: What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?
A: In 2021-2022 I worked with We R Native and partnered companies to help create artwork for their HIV Awareness program. My art was used as both a poster and an advertisement which still blows my mind. It’s so important to focus on topics like sex education and awareness especially for Two-Spirit and LGBTQ Natives whether in urban or rez locations. We need to keep our community strong for future generations and that definitely starts with paying attention to our health. In June my artwork is going to be part of an exhibition at the Vermillion called Indigiqueer Joy. It makes me so happy to know I’m contributing to Two-Spirit culture with my artwork.
Q: 2022-2032 is the official Decade of Indigenous Languages, what is your relationship with language? How has it shaped you?
A: I’ve taken various introductory language zoom courses from the Blackfeet Community College during 2020 and 2021. Hosted by Elders and teachers of the language who want to help the Tribe learn more of our own culture. While I’m very much a beginner I’ve held what I learned very close to me and it influences my personal life and my artwork. I share what I can with my mother who was taken into foster care very young so these opportunities were lost to her. I continue to read books and make note of what I can because my Tribal languages are very important to me.
Q: What does PRIDE represent to you?
A: Pride represents the opportunity of change for me and the overall Two-Spirit community. I want people like me who can’t fit into traditional “men’s” or “women’s” roles to feel genuinely proud of who we are. I want to see jingle dancers who are AMAB and grass dancers who are AFAB and everything in between. I hope we have our own style of regalia and just allow ourselves to take tradition and remember it was always different for us. My Tribe had women War Chiefs who never married, the gender binary was never Euro-centric. I want to see us in modern media depicted in love stories whether it’s modern day or the past. Pride shares a glimpse of all the possibilities we can represent ourselves in a blend of tradition and something uniquely us.
Q: Where can people buy your art/follow & support you?
A: I promise to one day have a self-run print and sticker shop, but until then I’ve got a INPRNT shop that I’m happy to put any artwork up if you’re seeking a print. You can follow me on Instagram @dovelittlehome.art for my artwork and any future updates on myself.