I was born and raised in Atikameksheng Anishnawbek. My grandfather and father were both Chief. Our everyday was about family, community, land, rights and way of life. I grew up in a small reserve in Northern Ontario, with a large land base. Travelling, fishing, hunting, gathering and being on the land created my indigenous and worldview. I am honoured to listen to stories of sadness, rejoice, hope, rejection, reflection, optimism and an understating of just who we are as Native people living on Mother Earth.
My work is part of and informed by the community and the Natural World.
Life on the Reserve was the start of my artistic practice. The words and lens adapt to the way of life, the oratory and the political stance of our people. My work is not only media based. I am a writer and as a community member, I have worked with my community to improve and develop governance strategies. Together we have struggled and together we have built sovereign governance initiatives. As Chair and committee member, we worked with Community Leaders and Elders to write and ratify the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek Gchi-Naaknigewin (Constitution).
I have creative control on all my films. My work is dedicated to the protection of story, appropriation and cultural respect to history, story and tradition of First Nations people. My studio is a space to create, to collaborate and to stay on the Rez.
Darlene Naponse is a film-maker, writer, video artist of the Atikameksheng Anishanawbek (Ojibway) from Northern Ontario.