March 2023 Beyond the Page Content

Indigenous Brooklyn: Beyond the Page

By Allan Downey

Lunch atop a Skyscraper is one of the most iconic photographs ever produced, yet the identities of the men appearing in the image is shrouded in mystery and by conflicting claims. One thing that is relatively certain is that at least one Indigenous ironworker appears in the photograph. The Indigenous man appearing in the photograph is tentatively identified as Peter Rice from Kahnawà:ke (middle), his identity having been asserted by multiple documents and personal interviews with his family. Some archival documents put the number of Indigenous ironworkers in the photograph at as high as three, but verifying this claim has proven to be extremely difficult.