My Research interested include “Rez Metal”; contemporary Native American music & arts; Sonic sounds and resistance; Cultural Geography & (Re)Mapping, Photography of Native Americans, Indigenous Research Methodologies; Indigenous feminisms; Photoethnography; NAGPRA; Tribal & Museum studies; Native American youth culture; Lakota language, Visual Anthropology, Community-based participatory research.
I have taught classes in Anthropology on Culture and Society, Construction of Race and Capitalism and Discontents. Working towards American Indian Studies Certificate at UCLA.
Viki Eagle emachiyapi. Sičáŋǧu hemáčha. Heska ematahan.
My name is Viki Eagle I am Sicangu Lakota. I am from the White Mountains (Denver, Colorado) I am an enrolled member of the Sičáŋǧu Lakótapi (Rosebud Sioux Tribe)
I received my Master's degree in Higher Education (2015) focusing on Native American Student Recruitment & Retention. I obtained my Bachelor's Degree in International Studies minor in Studio Art Photography and Japanese Language (2012) from the University of Denver. I also attended 2 semesters at Sophia University (上智大学) in Tokyo, Japan studying Japanese language, foreign policy and culture.
I also have professional work experience I spent one year Teaching at Red Cloud Indian School as the Multimedia teacher focus on photography and film. I also worked in Study Affairs as the UCLA Native American Recruiter in Undergraduate Admissions helping student access and apply to UCLA. The last 3 years I spent as the Director of Native American Community Partnerships and Programs at the University of Denver building a program designed for recruitment and retention for Native American students supporting Native American initiatives and community.
Current Dissertation Research
Ancestor's Rez Metal
Re(Mapping) a Rez Metal Sonic ReZistance
Located within the Navajo Nation, this research explores Indigenous forms of “sonic resistance” through the underground Heavy Metal scene called "Rez Metal." In North American tribal communities, "Rez" is an acronym for "Indian reservations.” "Rez" is a term that carries a physical location and cultural meaning. This research will investigate how Rez Metal artists have challenged and reclaimed dominant historical narratives that promote the erasure of Indigenous Peoples and reinscribe stereotypes of poverty, isolation, desolation and colonial drawn boundaries of the reservation.
This research aims to show how Rez Metal resists settler colonial boundaries of map making through the production of distinctive and visual images that help to (re)map longstanding settler colonial understandings of the Indian reservations and Native people’s connection to land. Visual images are a part of how we experience, imagine, learn, and produce knowledge. (Pink, 2021: 2.). Sound too plays a distinctive role shaping our experience of the world through its various manifestations in language, music, land, and sensory experiences. Native Americans uniquely experience absolute invisibility in many domains of American life. Their voices are also often silenced or ignored. When Native Americans are seen and heard, however, it is often through an imaginary redendering of "Indians" as relics of some unfortunate past and disappeared is intrinsic to American settler colonialism. (Leavitt, P.A., Covarrubias, R., Perez, Y.A. and Fryberg, S.A. (2015).
By tracing the origins of stereotypes about Indian people and by producing new photographic images and sonic representations of contemporary Rez Metal artists, fans, and promoters, this research utilizes digital photography and the analysis of musical performance/ appreciation as critical (re)mapping practices (Goeman 2008 & Iralu 2021) to "unsettle" and push against settler created borders and "expectations" (Deloria, 2004) of how Native people should be. This dissertation project will thus explore how the sights, images, and sounds of Rez Metal reconfigure place-making and (re)map Indigenous experiences. Drawing from theories and methods that are rooted in Indigenous forms of knowledge and Native feminist spatial practices (Goeman, 2008), the project seeks paths to address the colonial boundaries of such ridged borders such as urban and Rez, which often also are configured according to unexamined gendered assumptions. Over twelve months in New Mexico and Navajo Nation I plan to conduct ethnographic fieldwork, soundscape analysis, and photo ethnography to investigate how the term "the Rez" connects to Indigenous people's spatialized, engendered, and lived experiences in ways that both redeploy and resist settler logics.
Video Lectures, Podcasts and Presentations
Video 1: Winter Camp 2022- Racing Magpie Real Life Indian and Photography
Native Hope Podcast Rez Metal
Sonic Resistance Panel" Indigenous Women and Social Justice at the University of Denver: Speaker #2 in the Video. Presentation on Rez Metal and Indigenous Feminisms