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Why do we acknowledge the traditional Indigenous inhabitants of the land on which a/perture is situated?

Because acknowledgment is a simple yet powerful way to show respect and it is a small step toward remedying the stories and rectifying the practices that have erased Indigenous people’s history and culture. It is a small step towards inviting and honoring the truth of our shared past. We hope others will move toward the adoption of  this practice of acknowledging traditional lands and to expose audiences and the community to the names of the traditional Indigenous inhabitants of our land and  inspire them to ongoing awareness and action. As part of this effort and our cultural equity work, we pledge to showcase and share the work of Indigenous filmmakers and creatives in our year round programming.

Our digital land acknowledgement appears before everyone of our film programs as the following:

a/perture cinema acknowledges that we are located on the original homelands of the Saura (saw-ra), Catawba (ka-tah-buh), Keyauwee (Ke-ya-wee) and Sissipahaw (Sis-ee-pa-ha) peoples. Winston Salem and the surrounding area is today the home of members or citizens of the eight recognized tribes of North Carolina: the Eastern Band of Cherokee, Lumbee, Coharie, Haliwa Saponi, Meherrin, Occaneechi Saponi, Sappony, and Waccamaw Siouan; and Tuscarora.

We honor this land as such and believe that acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth. We pledge to support and showcase the work of American Indian filmmakers and creatives in our year round film programming.

2023-2024 Land Acknowledgement by artist Alyssa Hinton


Using vibrant colors that awaken the soul, Alyssa’s art invokes a theme of spiritual awakening by tapping into the southeastern Native American folklore and history surrounding her roots. At once ancient and modern, her themes utilize tradition and vision with a contemporary edge. Alyssa’s textured narrative collages speak to the preservation of both the ecology and indigenous culture, incorporating designs and concepts from southeastern mound culture.

Communing is an “intergenerational portrait” depicting the ongoing connection between the original inhabitants of this land and the beloved water bodies of the region.

Alyssa Hinton has roots in the Osage, Tuscarora and (possibly) Saponi indigenous nations and lives in Burlington, NC. Discover more of Alyssa Hinton’s artwork here. 


2022-2023 Land Acknowledgement by artist Raven Dial-Stanley


Henrietta Raven Dial-Stanley is an enrolled member of the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina; largest tribe east of the Mississippi River. Even though her lineage comes from Pembroke, NC, she was born and reared in Forsyth County and currently resides in Greensboro, NC.  She has been diligently working in Native American affairs for the vast majority of her life. She is a passionate activist for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and travels across the state bringing awareness to this issue that impacts her people across America.

2021-2022 Land Acknowledgement by artist Chad Locklear


Artist statement:
The four daughters represent the four directions, seasons, elements, clans and so much more to the Tutelo Saponi and Occaneechi people. I modeled one of the women from a statue of a Saura / Cheraw woman at the NC Museum of History (a Lumbee woman modeled for the statue). The Sauratown mountains were named after them… they moved around NC quite a bit and some of them were believed to be absorbed into the Lumbee and other tribes later on. The illustration represents the medicine wheel.

Chad Locklear is from St. Pauls, NC. He is the director of marketing for the Givens Performing Arts Center and the communications director for the Lumbee Film Festival. He was recently selected to join the 2020 South Art’s Emerging Leaders of Color inaugural cohort. He has performed at numerous venues as a member of the Deer Clan Singers and has worked as a graphic designer for the news and higher ed. He earned degrees in communication and art studies from N.C. State and UNCW and is completing an M.A. in digital communications at UNC-Chapel Hill.

For more information on North Carolina Tribal Communities please visit this great resource on the NC Department of Administration website.

For more information on land acknowledgment please visit this US Department of Arts and Culture page to #HonorNativeLand.

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