It is a dream. It is what people who have come here from the beginning of time have dreamed. It's a dream landscape. To the Native American, it's full of sacred realities, powerful things. It's a landscape that has to be seen to be believed. And as I say on occasion, it may have to be believed in order to be seen.
- N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa)
(Through Native Eyes)
Freedom, adventure, simplicity, resilience, honesty, and pastoral bliss describe the supposed characteristics of the cowboy and the American West, today and in times past. Genocide, racism, intolerance, displacement, inequity, brutality, and despair are more accurate terms to describe the West if you are one of its first inhabitants, a Native American. The myth of the American West and the romanticization and simultaneous vilification of its first inhabitants can represent itself in many social constructs: literature, films, poetry magazines, art, photography, clothing, speech and the internet. In my research, I explore the turbulent history of the West and the myths that have grown up around it and how this history has impacted the West’s first inhabitants: American Indians--namely, those located in Montana (where seven Native American reservations reside). Being a Native American woman born and raised in Montana, I have been personally impacted by misleading notions of Native American people in the West. In my research, I examine the often hostile nature of the West--both geographically and culturally. I explore the roots of the inherent racism embedded in the West. I interrogate the long-held belief among Westerners (past and present) that Native American people are an impediment to American progress. While historians of the American West abound, the Native American (and female) perspective on the West is seldom heard. I am compelled to bring a new perspective to America’s vision of the West.
"Haley Rains is an excellent communicator. She is a perfect example of an instructor on fire who empowers students to have a passion to learn about life's journey. She is personable, intelligent and encourages students to question and interact with the subject matter. Her compassion for the students and the subject matter is to be acknowledged. Her actions speak louder than words. Everyone has special abilities, strengths, and contributions. Thank you, H. Rains for acknowledging the value each individual brings."
Introduction to Native American Studies
WESTERN HISTORY ASSOCIATION
October 12-15, 2022
Join me for the 62nd Annual Western History Association Conference, which is scheduled for October 12-15, 2022, in San Antonio, Texas, at the Hyatt Regency. I will be presenting my dissertation research there as well as chairing a panel of scholars whose research is on Indian Boarding schools. #WHA22 #wearenotyoursavages
February 3, 2022
KALICO Art Center announces its first exhibition of 2022, “Imagining Ourselves: Celebrating Indigenous Culture, Color, and Vibrancy” by artist Haley Rains.
POPULAR CULTURE ASSOCIATION
April 13-16, 2022
Join me for my presentation, We Are Not Your Savages: Deconstructing the Myth of the American Frontier through Native American Visual Sovereignty, at the 2022 Popular Cultural Association’s Annual Conference. I will be presenting in the Mythology in Contemporary Culture section #PCAACA22
NATIVE AMERICAN MEDIA ALLIANCE - UNSCRIPTED WORKSHOP
October 1, 2021
I am one of eight participants who have been selected for the inaugural Unscripted Workshop hosted by Native American Media Alliance. Sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal, A+E, Yahoo!, CNN, Turner Sports, and the Cherokee Nation Film Office.
"I AM WHO I SAY I AM: RECLAIMING NATIVE AMERICAN IDENTITY"
September 28, 2021
"I Am Who I Say I Am: Reclaiming Native American Identity through Visual Sovereignty." Check out my piece for Imagining America in which I talk about my publicly engaged scholarship and art and the importance of Native American self-representation in media and popular culture.
OF COMMUNITY AND CULTURE: A SNAPSHOT OF TRIBAL COLLEGE ALUMNI
August 23, 2021
Check out my interview with the Tribal College Journal (Volume 33, No. 1 - Fall 2021) where I discuss my journey from a Tribal College/University (TCU) graduate to a PhD student and college instructor and how being a TCU graduate has uniquely qualified me for a career in higher education.
2021 UC DAVIS
ARTS & HUMANITIES
June 10 - September 6
Check out my virtual exhibit at the Manetti Shrem Museum and view my photo collection, “A Good Day to Garden,” which is part of the photography component of We Are Not Your Savages. It features Christina Thomas (Northern Paiute/Western Shoshone/Hopi) and her son, Jace.