Project Description


Douglas Miles, Sr. is a painter, performer, muralist, speaker and community leader in the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona known for his depictions of contemporary Apache life.

As an adult, watching his son skateboard, Miles saw a connection between skateboarding and the Apache warrior tradition, as both involved concentration, stamina and the ability to withstand pain. After finding no skate decks related to Apache culture, Miles painted a skateboard deck himself, thus launching Apache Skateboards — one of the earlier Native American-owned skateboard companies. He is the subject of  THE MYSTERY OF NOW.

He will be speaking via video conference at ADVENTURE FILM & INDIGENOUS CULTURE at the University of Ottawa on November 20th at 7pm

In the short film, THE MYSTERY OF NOW artist and Apache Skateboards founder, Douglas Miles shares socio-political context around the history that lead to life on the San Carlos Apache reservation, and the personal history of how and why he started a skateboard brand and team of local youth leaders. His advice on cultivating resilience, creativity, and joy, provides guidance in a time that for many feels uncertain, polarizing and divisive in our living rooms and around our dinner tables.

“It’s no mystery that the history of Native American people in this country has been overlooked, misrepresented and maligned to create a more heroic narrative for settlers to sell books, to sell land, and to sell movie tickets,” Douglas shares. “In the middle of this cultural clash, stereotypes and battles for agency, one thing that has never ceased is Native creativity and the making of art. In our creativity we recreate ourselves, and in doing so we create and shape the world around us.”