Artist finally locates Native performer from
1991 powwow featured in portrait
By JOE NICKELL
Condensed by Native Village
Greg Millar, Bryan
Brazill, Patrick Clark
Montana: For three years, artist Greg Millar
searched for the Native American dancer in a
photograph taken by his friend, Patrick Clark,
at 1991's Fort Missoula Powwow. Millar
created a tile portrait from that photograph and
vowed that if it ever sold, he would find the
dancer and donate half of the profits to a
charity of the dancer's choice.
Millar searched across the state and elsewhere
looking for anyone who could offer leads
on the dancer's identity.
Little did he know, the answer was right under
his nose. After a story ran on the Internet, a
phone call from Germany finally connect Millar
with Arlee resident Bryan Brazill.
"I'm just so thrilled, and amazed that after all
this time I finally was able to figure out who
he was," said Millar.
Brazill, who is serving in the U.S. Army in
Germany, read the story on the Missoulian's Web
site. At first, Brazill thought the dancer was
his brother, Ryan, an Army drill instructor at
Fort Sill, Okla.
out he was wrong. The dancer was Bruce's father,
Bryan, who immediately recognized himself in the
"He captured the essence of me," Bryan said.
"You know, the way you walk into a room is
different from how I walk, and he captured the
essence of my movement. That's what I noticed
right away, even more so than the feather hat or
the bustle, just the gesture of my movement
Brazill has spent most of his life dancing at
powwows around the region. Brazill said that the
photograph was taken during a men's traditional
special dance at the Fort Missoula Powwow.
After meeting with Millar, Brazill spoke with
his family and decided to donate his proceeds
from sale -- nearly $3,000 -- to the Veterans
Warrior Society of the Confederated Salish and
"They're important in our culture because they
help out with leading grand entries at powwows,"
said Brazill, "but more important, they help out
with the wakes and funerals and represent our
tribes across the United States."
"I think the money will go a long way," added
Brazill. "And since this (portrait) involves
dance and Native American culture, I thought
that was an important point to it as well."