Remembering Artist Dee Sturgis

1960 – 2018

Artist Dee Sturgis

As a budding young artist growing up in Montana, Dee Sturgis fell in love with the Native people around her and dreamed of some day painting images of their culture and life ways. Then life took her away from her roots and she found herself raising her family far away in south-east Georgia. Like most people in Georgia, Dee had little knowledge of the generations of Native people who had populated that land before the Creek Indian Removal in 1830.

Then one day a local organization asked Dee if she would do some paintings depicting south Georgia’s Indian people for them. Dee’s response was, “What Indians?” So she did her research and her first painting of a Southeastern Native American, and thus began a whole new focus for Dee’s youthful dream.

Ghost Dancer, Wind Clan, Painting by Dee Sturgis

Ghost Dancer was most honored to be invited to share some of his ideas and create some artwork of his own to be included in a travelling Heritage Gathering Exhibit Dee and some of her friends put together to tell the story of the Creek Indian people of Georgia. Dee in turn honored Ghost in a couple of her paintings. This one tells his story as he might have looked 200 years ago, and recognizes him as a member of the Wind Clan. The painting features some of the animals he would have known and a trail marker tree so realistic people cannot believe it’s a painting.

All through these days,  Dee was already suffering from the illness that would take her life not long after. We thank Dee’s family for this opportunity to honor a great lady who left us too soon. Dee’s talent and determination contributed so much to the remembrance of a people, a way of life and brings honor to the many descendants of those who hid their identity to avoid the removal and have now reclaimed their heritage.


Published by Edna Peirce Dixon

I am an elder in my 9th decade. I have lived an ordinary life, I’ve done all the ordinary and expected things, went to school, got married, raised a family, tried to be a good person. Throughout this life I have also been a seeker, an outsider by nature, always looking through cracks in the fences of life, questioning, challenging, learning, trying to make sense of the world and its conventions. Then in my golden years, as I sought to find meaning in my existence, some unexpected things happened and I’ve since learned it took a lifetime to prepare me for the challenge to come. My journey – indeed my calling - led me to come to know a remarkable man who happened to be an inmate in federal prison. Nothing could have been more foreign to my personal experience. GHOST DANCER Communicating daily for nearly nine years I had the opportunity to walk many paths with Ghost discussing our thoughts on many common interests with candor and respect. With enormous generosity Ghost has allowed me to share his wisdom and knowledge of his Native American heritage on Journeys of the Spirit. Over time, Ghost gradually revealed his life story in small bits, like scrambled pieces of some gigantic puzzle. Now, after spending more than 40 years in prison, Ghost Dancer is at last free and ready to tell his amazing personal story. As the saying goes, “you can’t make this stuff up” and as his friend and editor I can say this is a story so big that even after working with him for nearly nine years, I continue to be astonished as he shares new details my mind simply could never imagine. From the very first chapter, Ghost leads us on his journey and invites us to walk with him on his Nene Cate (Red Road). From the day he was born, a happy, loving gifted child, he endured heartbreaking sorrows, betrayals and exploitations. Through it all, Ghost fought a system determined to destroy him by any means, as he struggled to remain true to his calling. Through Ghost Dancer I also met and came to know Walks On The Grass, another federal prisoner whose story is also compelling even though very different. In Journeys of the Spirit, Walks has shared his decades-long journey from deep addiction to wholeness in LONG ROAD HOME and shared other bits of his story in ALONG THE WAY. Now as he approaches his August release into this crazy world of 2022 Walks shares his the thoughts and misgivings as he counts down to the big day in LIGHTS IN THE DISTANCE.

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