"Invisibility," Franklin quipped. "We're still invisible. It is a matter of continually having to prove yourself. People don't want to recognize you as a "real" artist. The hardest part about being a Native American artist is that I am continually expected to prove myself.
"We are ending one trail and beginning a new one," Franklin said. "Native people are entering a different kind of Indian war. As I see it, the Indian Wars are not over. As Indian people, we are going to have to come out of the closet. We read about issues in the paper, and feel that they don't affect us, but they do."
Franklin said that one of the biggest problems facing Native Americans today is the loss of language and identity.
"The larger society is now dictating to us what we should be rather than us dictating to the world who we are," Franklin explained.
"As artists-writers, painters, songwriters-we have a certain responsibility to be true to ourselves and to our own identity and put this down as honestly as we can. Right now, a third party is dictating to us of what they want to see. I recently overheard someone's comment on one of my pieces that it wasn't 'Navajo enough.' As a Diné artist, whatever I perceive, whatever comes from my soul is still Diné."