Through an Indigenous lens

Layers of backlit mountains at sunset.

San Juan National Forest, CO

Isaiah Branch Boyle

Introduction by Dr. Len Necefer, NativesOutdoors

NativesOutdoors and The Wilderness Society have partnered with three Indigenous photographers who have deep ties to ecologically significant landscapes to create a series of photo essays. Isaiah Branch-Boyle shares the history and future of the mine-impacted landscape of the San Juan Mountains; Joe Whittle explores the impact of climate change on the Colville Indian Reservation; and Micheli Oliver captures a profile of the Niitsitapi community and the Crown of the Continent.

The story of conservation has often been told through a limited set of lenses, largely from the perspective of non-Indigenous people. While these viewpoints have been formative, they omit  information and values that are key to protecting landscapes for generations to come. In this series of photo essays, we highlight Indigenous voices and ask: What more could we learn when the stories we share are told from a multitude of perspectives?

Learn more about NativeOutdoors and explore the photo essays below:

NativesOutdoors is a Native-owned outdoor products company and creative collective with a simple mission: to empower Indigenous communities through NativeOutdoors products and create a more sustainable world through storytelling.

Joe Whittle

Joe Whittle is a freelance photographer and writer living in unceded Nez Perce territory, in Joseph, OR. He is an enrolled tribal member of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma and a descendant of the Delaware Nation of Oklahoma. His photographs and writing can be found in publications including The Guardian, Alpinist Magazine, Outside Magazine, Backpacker Magazine, National Geographic Voices Blog and The Huffington Post. You can follow his work on Instagram @joewhittlephotography and at

Isaiah Branch-Boyle

Isaiah Branch-Boyle (@isaiahjboyle) is a film director born and raised in the Southwest. He has worked with National Geographic, Patagonia, The North Face and Google, and his work has been featured in The New York Times. Isaiah grew up on the Southern Ute Reservation in southwest Colorado and continues to tell stories about people's relationship to the land in the Four Corners region.

Micheli Oliver

Micheli Oliver (@micsteeze) is a photographer, geographer and descendent of the Niitsítapi (Blackfeet) peoples. She runs Loud Mouth Visuals and is a visual storyteller for On The Land Media. She is based out of  Shoshone, Bannock, Blackfeet, Crow, Flathead, Gros Ventre, Nez Perce and Cheyenne homelands colonized as Teton Valley.