“… Which demonstrated to him the importance of Indigenous Peoples being able to tell their own stories.”
Ben Powless is a Mohawk citizen and documentary photographer, videographer, writer and organizer who is heavily involved in the Indigenous rights and environmental justice movement around the world.
Growing up in Ottawa, Canada, to parents who were both Native activists, Ben was immersed from a young age to the plight and struggle of Indigenous Peoples. Later in university, Ben would help co-found a national youth network dedicated to advancing the cause of environmental justice, called the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition.
Ben made a fateful trip to Peru in 2009, while a group of Indigenous activists was killed by police forces. He was asked to travel to the communities and help visually document their situation, which demonstrated to him the importance of Indigenous Peoples being able to tell their own stories.
Since then, he has gone on to work with numerous Indigenous, environmental, and social justice groups to elevate the voices of communities fighting for a just future, and has travelled to Indigenous communities across Turtle Island (North America) and the world.
He also holds a degree in Human Rights, Indigenous Studies and Environmental Studies from Carleton University and is self-trained in photography. Ben’s work has been exhibited at local galleries, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, as well as in Peru.