Exhibit at Briggs Library shows struggles of an unseen nation

A new exhibit at the Hilton M. Briggs Library displays the untold story of African-Native Americans.

South Dakota State University is one of the last schools to see IndiVisible, an exhibit dedicated to the rarely-told stories of African-Native American lineage as it intersects throughout U.S. history. 

According to Richard Meyers, Tribal Relations Director and Program Coordinator of American Indian Studies, a person’s ability to climb the social ladder, or social mobility, is dependent on one factor in Western society: physical characteristics. In contrast, indigenous societies focus almost exclusively on social connections.

Egocentric, Meyers said, is the inevitable path of a capitalist society. That is where Western society finds itself. In Native American society you see social mobility in terms of how long someone has been integrated into a certain social group. 

Where Meyers saw division, library operations manager Emmeline Elliott sees an opportunity to teach people who may not have been exposed to such a history before.  

It is an opportunity “to open people’s eyes up to the diversity we live in. Not just a single race of people, but people who come from multiple races or backgrounds,” Elliott said. “I think they have a different experience.”

Elliot said that the Brookings school district and all the neighboring school districts have been through to see IndiVisible.

Toward the end of the running date there will be a supplemental exhibit put together by the library called “Blended Cultures” which will be during the week of Jan. 22 and available for viewing through the duration of IndiVisible .

The exhibit will run until Feb. 28.