The stories we’re used to hearing from contemporary Native Americans tend to be sad ones. And rightfully so, as their predicament, outlined heartbreakingly by Tommy Orange in his 2018 novel There There, is a sad one. The documentary photographer Hunter Barnes catches this melancholy in his images of the Northwestern Nez Perce tribe, collected in a new book out next week from Reel Art Press. He also captures a complex spirituality, a strong sense of pride, and inklings of hope. The trio of young women in a photograph titled “Rez Girls,” taken in Lapwai, Idaho, emanate defiance; Nancy Minthorn, photographed leading a parade at the Tamalkiks Powwow in Wallowa, Oregon, is confident and serene; and the kids at Pascal Sherman Indian School in Omak, Washington, telegraph pure joy. Barnes brings a sharp focus to a peculiar tension between modern life and tradition: “Grandma” is photographed in Lapwai, Idaho, wearing a sensible dress and an apron, her little dog standing dutifully by her side; meanwhile, “Grandpa,” photographed at the Tamkaliks Powwow in Wallowa, dons full gear and a painted face. The photo “8:00 Sunday Morning,” in which a pair of men have already cracked open the beers and cigarettes, alludes to the problem of substance abuse that plagues Native American communities. Barnes does not turn away from the challenges that face the Nez Perce people, but his photographs celebrate the bigger picture—their character and their magic. —Julia Vitale