Changing the World Through Art

Jan 25, 2023, Kathryn M. O’Neill for Slice of MIT

“Indigenous philosophies, and Dakota philosophy in particular, [are] not well known or understood. And so, when I have the opportunity to talk to people about it through my artwork, I see that light bulb come on,” says multimedia artist Erin Genia SM ’19, who is Dakota, an enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate. “It’s wonderful to have those interactions and to be able to really connect.”

A performance artist, painter, and sculptor, Genia also embraces traditional Dakota art forms, such as beadwork and the carving of sacred stone (pipestone). Whatever the media, Genia works to address social issues such as climate change and institutional racism.  Read more at

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