Her Activism

Apolonia Susana Santos

Apolonia Susana Santos

Inspiring Action

Apolonia Susana Santos spent 20 years of her life as a dedicated active organizer of environmental summits and cultural events. These public and intertribal events were educational and civic responses to legislation on Indigenous Peoples’ and broader civil liberties protections.

She Took a Leadership Role

Apolonia Susana SantosSusana worked as a Green Peace Fellow on national fisheries legislation and as a public education campaigner. 

She also co-established the Sacred Earth Coalition in the late 80’s, where her mission was to bring together Native and Non-Native activists and artists to work for the protection of the Mt Hood areas from destination resort development and the logging of Enola Hill.

IllustrationTogether with the Sacred Earth Coalition in the early 90’s, "Culture Shock Gallery" was established to showcase the art work of Native artists, women and other disenfranchised groups.

She Spoke Through Her Art

Susana often used her art as way to respond to a political issue, or event.

Sentinel of the SacredWhen asked to contribute a piece of art to “Impacted Nations” a traveling lecture, music and art show with the ”Honor The Earth” Indigenous People’s Tour in 2004, she responded with a mixed media on canvas titled Sentinel of the Sacred.  The piece is now part of a permanent collection at the Montana Museum of Art & Culture.

Here's what the artist had to say about it:

“Sentinel of the Sacred was conceived to honor a young boy that acts as a Sentinel when guarding traditional women who gather the Indigenous foods and conduct ceremonies at their sacred places.

"My intention was to draw attention to the protection of the Indigenous Woman, who may face indignities or human rights abuses from the proliferation of drug cartels present on the Native Peoples Reservations. I see this as a major threat to our Sovereign Nations.

"These social constraints limit our spiritual freedoms to seek higher vision. Perhaps, when our children stand guard over our clan families, our relationship to Mother Earth and to each other; our strength, art and cultural attributes will in time regenerate.”

A. Susana Santos


Case Communicatoins