Back to Top

Rafael Moreno on Indigenous People’s Day

October 9, 2014


From Left to Right: Winona Laduke [Anishnaabe], Wicahpiluta Candelaria [Rumsen Ohlone], and Comandante Ramona [Tzotzil Maya]. Art by Rafael Moreno.
I am really pleased to share some beautiful pieces made by my friend Rafael Moreno. He has been screen printing for several years now and it is wonderful to see his cultural projects blossoming. Indigenous People’s Day (NOT columbus day) is next week and he has some wonderful suggestions for thoughful ways to spend the day.
“Columbus day is coming up soon, a day where folks honor the “discovery” of the Americas. However, I choose not honor this holiday in the name of a man who brought forth genocide, rape, colonization, displacement etc; this list can keep getting bigger. As oppose to viewing the history of Indigenous people solely through hardships and heartaches, I like to view these histories through resistance. Indigenous peoples have always resisted, and through resilience they have won tremendous victories to continue to claim lands and traditions which belong to them.” Read more here:

Rafael Moreno is a Xicano Indigenous artist, who’s work reflects social justice movements. Born and raised in the San Francisco Mission District, he has been inspired by his community and has been fortunate enough to network with many different artists and organizers. Rafael’s art mediums include paintings, bead work, stencils, silk screening, photography, and graphic design. From a young age Rafael has always found a passion in the arts, and throughout the years, with mentorship from local Bay Area artists, he has been able to develop these art forms. Starting at Native Graphix at 16 years old as an intern learning the basics of cleaning a screen and creating his own image. Here he learned the discipline of silk screening and the basics of graphic design. At the age of 18 he was an artist assistant and youth organizer to Mike Ramos and Eric Norgberg in the 2009 mural “Building Bridges of Solidarity, Breaking Down Barriers,” coordinated by Nancy Hernandez. Rafael has also hosted many art for social justice themed stencil & silk screening workshops for various bay area youth and organizations including, Mission Beacon, Castlemont High School, SF Youth Empowerment Fund, and M.E.Ch.A. de San Pancho. Rafael received his formal education at San Francisco State University, obtaining his Bachelors in American Indian Studies & La Raza Studies. He also acquired his Masters in Ethnic Studies from SFSU. Rafael has been able to further analyze the issues in his communities to build stronger theoretical framework and understanding for his art. Rafael continues to live in the Mission District and is currently an after school educator for youth living in underfunded communities. When he is not teaching, Rafael dedicates his time to his art and community organizing efforts.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Reflections of Healing

Reflections of Healing

September 28, 2014

Join me at the Oakland Museum of California for the public unveiling of Reflections of Healing, a large-scale art installation created by artist and educator Brett Cook with participation from…