“You’ll Miss the Hustle & Bustle” WE REMIND YOU TO SLOW DOWN THIS UPCOMING FALL SEASON
AFRO-NATIVE AMERICANS NOW HAVE A DIGITAL SPACE MADE SPECIFICALLY FOR THEM, BY THEM WE INTRODUCE YOU TO OUR NEW SERIES, NATIVE MAX AFRO-NATIVE
FALL INTO BEAUTY
We Catch Up with
FALL BEAUTY LOOKS FEATURING OUR NEW LIP GLOSSES
PLUS Tatanka Means Morning Star Angeline & more
AUGUST 2018 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 1
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Contents August 2018
Welcome to the Issue 003
TABLE OF CONTENTS
check out what’s in this month’s issue welcome to the issue
who’s all on our team
FALL INTO BEAUTY
THE MOMENT: BOW TIES
fall beauty looks featuring our new Indigenous Cosmetics x Native Max Beauty lip gloss duos we’re releasing late August our must-have accessory for our stylish male (and female) readers: bow ties by ACONAV
The Insider 013
INTRODUCING NATIVE MAX AFRONATIVE
we introduce stories from our Native Max Afro-Native series, a space dedicated to the Black and Native narrative
“YOU’LL MISS THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE”
we catch up with our good friend and actress Grace Dove
we remind you to slow down this upcoming school year
CATCHING UP WITH TATANKA MEANS
Q&A: MORNING STAR ANGELINE
we catch up with actor and comedian Tatanka Means about upcoming films, his family & more we interview award-winning actress Morning Star Angeline, who’s set to make her directorial debut for her new short film ‘Yá’át’ééh abíní’
AUGUST 2018 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 3
In case you don’t follow our social media networks and might’ve missed it, we’re launching a collection of lip gloss duos in partnership with Indigenous Cosmetics in late August! We decided to put our new lip glosses to the test while coming up with cute Fall makeup looks!
We had the honor of featuring Grace Dove on the cover of the August issue. (BTW: this is a still shot of Grace from the film How It Ends.
“She’s definitely on the forefront when it comes to pushing for accurate representation of indigenous peoples on the big screen.”
had a blast catching up with my girl Grace Dove. The first time I actually met her was when we were invited to attend Phoenix Fashion Week a few years ago. She was so nice and laid back, despite just arriving at the hotel from the airport. When we sat down for dinner, I began to pick her brain about working alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant and her experience participating in such an iconic film. She was like an open book, sharing with me all of her experiences and how her acting career is taking off. That explains why I was so excited when I found out Grace was in the Netflix thriller How It Ends, and I streamed it as soon as it dropped. I was so proud of her character. It seemed that she had full control of her character and didn’t possess any stereotypical characteristics as usually
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seen in Native American female roles. Little did I know that her role in How It Ends proves that she’s definitely on the forefront when it comes to pushing for accurate representation of indigenous peoples on the big screen. To find out more, read her interview on page 18. Another story I was excited to edit and include in this issue is the story written by my good friend Tree. As we were brainstorming stories for the “Back to School” theme, she came up with the idea of somehow reminding our readers to appreciate the hustle and bustle of returning to school. Without spoiling too much, I do want to say that her story will do just that: remind you to slow down and take everything in. Enjoy the issue and I’ll see you on our website!
Kelly Holmes Founder + Editor-in-Chief
@kellycamilleholmes @kellycamilleholmes @kellzholmes
KELLY HOLMES Founder + Editor-in-Chief @kellycamilleholmes Executive Assistant Tatiana Ybarra EDITORIAL Managing Editor Jacqueline Lina Brixey Staff Writer Rhonda “Tree” Mangan Staff Writer Johnnie Morris Staff Writer Kelly Bedoni CREATIVE Creative Director E-’cho Martin Director of Photography Zoe Friday Videographer Joey Little Bird Web Director Celeste Terry Staff Photographer Viki Eagle
Copyright Native Max & Other Media Ventures All rights reserved. All material in Native Max Magazine is wholly copyright and reproduction without the the written permission of the Publisher is strictly forbidden. Neither this publication nor its contents constitute an explicit endorsement by Native Max of the products or services mentioned in advertising or editorial content. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, Native Max shall not have any liability for errors or omissions. We've done our best to acknowledge all photographers. In some instances photos have been provided to us by those who appear editorially and we have their permission in each case to use the images. We apologize if anything appears incorrectly. It will be a genuine mistake. Please let us know and we can give you a mention in the next issue.
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The Edge PLUS: THE MOMENT: BOW TIES
Be the first to know about Indigenous Cosmetics’ & Native Max Beauty’s launch at NATIVEMAX.COM
Fall Into Beauty The look obsession for the Fall season are bold eyes and warmer lips, and we achieved these looks with the help of the new lip gloss duos created by Indigenous Cosmetics and Native Max Beauty. Photography by Viki Eagle
Product details on the next page
AUGUST 2018 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 7
The Edge Tree Mangan, Navajo
What We Did: Natural brown eyeshadow with eyeliner Product We Used: Indigenous Cosmetics x Native Max Beauty FALL INTO BEAUTY Lip Gloss in Autumn Solstice
What We Did: Natural brown eyeshadow on eyelids + light contour Product We Used: Indigenous Cosmetics x Native Max Beauty FALL INTO BEAUTY Lip Gloss in Mysterious
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The Edge Maya Padilla, Northern Arapaho
What We Did: Copper smokey eye with cat eyeliner Product We Used: Indigenous Cosmetics x Native Max Beauty FALL INTO BEAUTY Lip Gloss in Autumn Solstice
AUGUST 2018 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 9
Zenetta Zepeda, Sicangu Lakota/ Navajo
What We Did: Copper smokey eye + bold, skyhigh lashes Product We Used: Indigenous Cosmetics x Native Max Beauty FALL INTO BEAUTY Lip Gloss in Awakening
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What We Did: Natural brown eyeshadow on eyelids + light contour Product We Used: Indigenous Cosmetics x Native Max Beauty FALL INTO BEAUTY Lip Gloss in Blood Moon
AUGUST 2018 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 11
The Edge The Moment
Bow Ties Our must-have accessory for our stylish male (and female) readers: bow ties by ACONAV.
Whatâ€™s better than a hand made bow tie? A bow tie hand crafted by an awardwinning Acoma Pueblo designer which features black and orange circular pottery print. Pairs well with a tucked-in crisp dress shirt. ACONAV Bow Tie in Black / Orange Circular Print I; $95; www.aconav.com
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The Insider Culture
Afro-Native Americans Now Have A Digital Space Made Specifically For Them, By Them
To read more Native Max Afro-Native stories, head over to NATIVEMAX. COM
e live in a time where there are multimedia companies and publishing platforms dedicated to people of color span across all corners of the internet. They continue to expand their global reach and influence by broadcasting content via web, video, social, live events and more. However, there’s one group of beautiful people who don’t feel well-represented or receive enough coverage of their heritage, successes and struggles. Afro-Native American is a group that many have yet to fully understand. Thousands of people in the United States identify as Afro-Native American or Black-Native American, having both indigenous and African American lineages. Many are able to recognize (even enroll with) their tribe, and others are not able to. According to The Grio, while most African-Americans would likely say they have Indian blood flowing in their veins, DNA testing suggests that fewer than 10 percent of black people are of Native American ancestry. To be exact, five percent of black Americans have at least 12.5 percent Native American ancestry (meaning, at least one great-grandparent). In contrast, 58 percent of black Americans have at least 12.5 percent white ancestry. Indian Country, or the indigenous groups of the U.S. and Canada, is a diverse, multidimensional and multifaceted community of people. Just like other people of color publishing platforms, whose content are geared toward their respective target audiences, Indian Country has their own, too; from thriving startups like Native Max Magazine and Native News Online, to industry vets like Indian Country Today. Many Afro-Native Americans are highly involved with their tribes and cultures. A lot of Afro-Native Americans are even employed by their tribes and work inside their tribal governments at various levels. There are Native and black entrepreneurs and athletes who give back to their communities constantly. But despite the work they’ve done, they don’t feel like their stories matter. Upon hearing about this, multimedia publisher Native Max Magazine teamed up with activist, speaker, published writer, community organizer and performer YoNasDa Lonewolf (Oglala Lakota/African American) and Native Education Advocate and Doctoral Student Tomasina Chupco (Seminole/African American) to launch Native Max Afro-Native, an online community and space for positive stories dedicated to black and Native Americans. Native Max Magazine is devoted to inspiring and entertaining readers while celebrating their indigenous cultures and stories through positive storytelling. Through their platforms and content, Native Max Magazine wants to bring their readers the positive and inspiring side of Indian Country. Continue on to read stories by model-turned-musician Stepha Murphy, writer and teaching artist Andrina Williams, dancer Eva Lopez, writer Aaron Tommie and community leader and organizer Chenae Bullock.
Photograph: Tory Rust nativemax.com
AUGUST 2018 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 13
The Insider Stepha Murphy Cherokee/Apache/African American Photo: Matthew Priestley
orn in Baltimore, MD and raised in Raleigh, NC, Stepha Murphy was attending UNCChapel Hill when she was scouted for modeling during her third year of college. This was also the same time she experienced racism and discrimination from people whom she called “friends”. She and her partner Ben then moved to New York to model professionally. After being sexually assaulted at knifepoint (the culprit went unpunished) coupled with having an abusive manager, Stepha and Ben decided to form a band and model on her own terms. They have since moved to Los Angeles and are releasing their third single in August, as well as garnering modeling/branding opportunities and shows. While their journey has been crazy, Stepha would not change it for the world. “My name is Stepha Murphy, I am from the a ni sa ho ni (The Blue Clan) of the Cherokee Nation on my father’s side, Apache on my Mother’s and African American descent. Due to slavery, I’m not sure what countries my African American ancestors came from originally. Growing up, I was always aware of both sides of my heritage but I never delved too deeply into them. In school, all of the white kids would blurt out that they were 1/16th or 1/32nd “Indian” in History class. Yet, these were the same kids that would make fun of my sisters and me on the bus, say racist remarks and physically abuse us. I remembered thinking that they were distinctly using my identity, that they found to be exotic, for convenience and then throwing it away. I think my formative years were when I realized that in this country one of my identities was deemed a myth while the other was a hardship. It wasn’t until I got older that I started delving more into my Native culture and being proud of who I am, instead of ashamed. With this came an entirely new set of issues. People would ask me what I was all the time. I would answer, “Native and Black” and I would constantly get the same reactions. Either people would say, “You don’t look Native!”
“I thought you were part Asian.” or “You’re Indian? That’s so unique”. These infuriate me because we look all sorts of ways, there is no mold that you have to fit into to identify or be part something. Also, we aren’t extinct, despite the overwhelming effort to make that a reality. I became woke, and sometimes wished I could go back to sleep. Eventually, I moved to New York and started modeling professionally and subsequently formed a band, Uruguay, with my partner. Within the modeling industry, I have faced my fair share of atrocities with racism, sexism, and identity. There are only three other Indigenous models that I know of and being black lessened my opportunities within the industry substantially. I can’t count how many times people have said, “You’re beautiful for an ethnic girl but we aren’t looking for any more ethnic girls right now,”. It wasn’t until I started doing music that everything has seemed to come together. I see the adversities that my heritage brings forth. I can’t trace my complete heritage back as far as I would like because of slavery, my people have been victimized and still are and instead of being addressed we are ignored, stigmatized and underrepresented! However, our music group is starting to gain more of a platform and with that, I have the power and responsibility to enact some change. Even if it’s telling my story so that other Black and Native girls and boys know that there are others out there like them, it makes a difference. I am making my voice heard and putting a big jilt in this homogeneous white culture. I am standing up and refusing to roll over as an ultimate form of power that I personally work hard to practice daily. I am proud of my African American and Native American heritage, I would not trade being me for the world. I don’t care what other people have to say, what they see, or what they put on me; it won’t stop me. My ancestors were strong. They beat all the odds and survived, through me. That’s what I bring to the table. So above anything else, I am a healer, a warrior and a force of nature!”
Andrina Wekontash Smith Shinnecock/African American
ndrina Wekontash Smith is a writer, performer, and teaching artist who splits her time between the East End and Brooklyn. Educating the youth has been one of Andrina’s primary motivators, and is a driving force behind the work she does. Andrina is a part of the Native American Sketch group NEAPOLITAN. Read “One Indian, Two Indian, Red Indian, Blue Indian” by Smith: Oh, She thinks she’s Native. Or something Yeah, Or something. Because sometimes something is all you can muster to be Some disproportioned mud blood anomaly That is Indian by name and not face I am a black native and isn’t that ironic Who knew identity could be oxymoronic Honey don’t try and pose as anything exotic Cuz leaky old faucets drip one-drop rules that label your water toxic And your Shinnecock blood is the crack of narcotics A dirty wanna-be without the purity of its still cut up brethren cocaine Because all native blood ain’t processed the same.
And all native blood ain’t taken the same Yo hee yo ah he yo eee yoo ahh heee Trails of tears blanket danced down her 9-year-old face, As she learned early on that history held no place For people like her. For a people like hers. The first time she got called a nigger, it was by a native Stoic eyes discriminate louder than any pro-Jim crow picket signs and fuckin a nigger is a punishable crime because diluted blood makes it harder to place when sovereign nations compete in a white man’s foot race Wampeshau slave trades implemented racist ideals 400 plus oppressed years were xenophobic attempts to conceal the fact that we never had a segregated medicine wheel When slavery went bankrupt the US never drew up a new deal, To tell a country exactly how much blacks were worth Reinforced stereotypes trickled down Indian country like honey trickling down fry bread We swallowed amnesia alongside lies that were spoon fed Forgetting that in the beginning side by
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side stood black and red So we continue to take smallpox blankets with us to bed and wonder why we wake up feeling feverish. I am tired. I’m tired of having to constantly defend a culture that’s a birthright and not a new age trend Since apparently, a dreamcatcher makes everyone Indians or a least have great great great grandmother who was a chief’s daughter… My ancestors are weeping the salt tears only the “people of the shore” could create. Shinnecock youth develop chips saltier than Pringles could generate And I’m feeling so salty let this be my probate That boldly stands before you and chants, not just states I am not Indian for you. I’m not your injun whom you give gifts and then take away I’m not your succotash du jour that makes you feel hip today I’m not your nigger lipped darkie that makes it easier to say Psssshhh, she thinks she’s native. I’m Indian for the kids who know the smell of beer before their old enough to
Photo: Bryan Downey
spell it For the youth who see women, they love beaten but know they can’t tell it For Rez dirt that knows how to permeate down to your veins For rawhide regalia’s, and long-winded names that define more than a person but an entire nation I am Indian for that seventh generation That’s all I am and all ill ever be A disproportioned mud-blood anomaly But that’s okay because they don’t determine what I do Nashota, Go gi sgk, Issaiah, Nashay I’m doin this babies for no one but you.
Photo: Camille Seaman
Chenae Bullock Shinnecock/African American
I’m the daughter of an African American father and a Shinnecock mother who was born and raised on the Shinnecock Indian reservation located in Southampton, New York. Our clan structure was destroyed due to colonization as early as 1638 in our Long Island indigenous communities. However, I come from a continual hereditary line of sachems, or chiefs: Quashawam, Wyandanch, Mongotuckee, Sassucass, Tatobum, and Tusaksuck, who were not only the sachems of Long Island and New England but were whalers and owners of the largest canoes ever seen in the Long Island Sound. My name is Chenae Bullock but by my given name is Sagkompanau Mishoon Netoouesqua, which is “I Lead Canoe I am Butterfly woman” in the Shinnecock language. I am enrolled in the federally-recognized Shinnecock Indian Nation. We are unable to legally enroll into more than one tribe, however, I will always proudly acknowledge that I descend from both the Shinnecock and Montauk communities of Long Island. Both parents raised me to understand I will always be considered bi-racial as an African American and Native American to the rest of the world. Growing up with these teachings, I have focused my life on not only balancing these two backgrounds but also creating awareness of the importance of culture and heritage. I have been the Shinnecock Indian Youth Council Advisor, Shinnecock Indian Nation Pow Wow Social
Media Manager, Shinnecock Indian Nation Cultural Enrichment Department Administrative Assistant, and an interpreter at the Shinnecock Museum and Cultural Center. In 2011, I traveled to the state of Washington for the first time to paddle to Swinomish in the Tribal Canoe Journeys. In 2011, I was one of four young women nationwide who stepped up to run for Miss Indian Nations. I represented the east coastal Algonquin people in the running and placed first in both the Children’s Choice Award and the Talent Contest. In June of 2012, I organized and physically led members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation in a historic 4-day canoe journey from Shinnecock territory in Long Island, NY to Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan territory in southeastern Connecticut across the Long Island Sound. This journey had not been made in over 400 years. In August 2012, I returned to Washington to paddle to Squaxin Island, and have attended the canoe journeys since 2011. In 2015 I was invited to assist in mobilizing the east coastal Algonquians to attend the Justice or Else Million Man March in October of 2015. I was asked to open the March in front of over two million people on the steps of the State Capitol Building in prayer and song. Shortly after the march I was appointed as a board member for the Unite or Die organization as the Native American Liaison. At the start of 2016, I was appointed Lead Organizer
for Hip Hop 4 Flint Providence which was 1 of 49 international cities who collectively held an event on the same day to raise over $80,000 for home filtration systems for the people living in Flint, Michigan. The city of Providence awarded me for my leadership in uniting various local organizations together to bring light to an epidemic that is occurring worldwide. In the same year, I was worked as an executive assistant for Manuka Sports Event Management, an ocean sustainability event marketing company out of Newport, Rhode Island. While working there I was able to gain more experience in understanding the scientific effect of ocean sustainability, as well as the logistics of sailing, and boating in international waters. When asked what do I consider myself, I tell people, ‘I’m an Atlantic indigenous woman. My ancestors come from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. I can never choose a side.’ I will say I can relate to my indigenous side more because of the cultural teachings that were preserved and instilled in me. I was raised with culturally through the customs of our ancestors in which I named in the introduction. I can never choose a side, I am who I am and know who I am. The work I do not only reflects both sides but is for the betterment of both sides.”
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Evangelina Lopez Blackfeet/Black/Mexican
vangelina Lopez (Blackfeet/Black/Mexican) shares her story of overcoming “not being enough” and how she lives and celebrates her mixture of cultures.
“Oki niitanikko- (Hello my name is) Evangelina Lopez. I am Niitsitapi (the original/real people- Blackfeet), specifically Amskapi Pikuni (Southern Piegan), Gros Ventre, and Assiniboine decent. My family are the Apaotokan (Weaselhead), some of who currently live where our ancestors have always resided in the area that is now the reservation in Browning, Montana. To acknowledge all parts of me, I proudly identify with my mixed descent as Indigenous/ Black/Mexican. As a dancer of many practices and as a Ph.D. student in dance, I work to represent the cultures I carry with me whether that be in the powwow setting, on stage, in the classroom, or in my scholarly work. Being Black and Native to me means proudly carrying a strong lineage and ancestral knowledge, one that speaks to our survivance, but is also means complex and some-
times difficult inheritances. Here is a small family tree of those who make up my mixed background: My grandfather Jim Nickerson and grandmother Arlene Weaselhead who give me my Black and Amskapi Pikuni roots; my dad who gives me my Mexican roots, and my mother Dawn Nickerson who single-handedly raised us (daughter of Arlene and Jim) who emphasized us learning the history and culture of the people we come from. For the longest time, I struggled to find where I fit in and tried to seek validation in others. From different people for various reasons, I wasn’t “Mexican enough”, “Black enough”, or even “Native enough”. The ugly truth is, sometimes even among our communities and families we face and perpetuate our own reservations about people. Reflecting on points of “not fitting in”, I think to when I was being brought up and could feel the tensions that resulted from not knowing Spanish and how that affected mine and my brother’s ability to communicate with family on my father’s side and the communities we grew up in. I felt ashamed at times, almost as if I had disappointed those who had expectations of me to speak Spanish. Here language was in a way, a marker of being Mexican to some. In hindsight, I think about my father who was fluent but never taught us Spanish. Although I cannot be cer-
aron Tommie is a Seminole/ Black writer who discovers his Seminole roots while working for his tribe.
Seminole/Black Photo: Beverly Bidney
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“My Native American identity journey is akin to an adult who meets their biological family after recently learning that person was adopted as an infant. For the majority of my life, I have had very little affiliation with my Seminole heritage. It was not by choice, but circumstance. After my parents separated when I was a toddler, I moved from a Seminole Reservation to New York with my mother and siblings. My mother, who is African-American, did her best to teach me about my Native American culture despite the fact that it comes from my father. As years passed, I gradually identified with what I saw in the mirror and as what society viewed me as, which was a Black male. Since childhood, I was taught to be proud of my rich African heritage, especially since we live in a society that grossly discourages that. Despite my absence from Native communities, I was still drawn to my Seminole side. While in college, I developed a strong desire to work for
tain, I have a feeling that it was something that both my father and some of his siblings actively avoided for various reasons. Consequently, I was never able to speak and communicate with my Abuela Eva (whose name I carry). I knew she was a powerful woman with lots of wisdom who loved my brother and I very much, but I will never know her stories or knowledge she could have shared. To that, I have promised to visit my aunties and the land in Mexico where they lived so that I could reconnect with that part of me. So far in my adulthood, I have worked to learn to speak Spanish and have been trying to get to know my aunties and others on that side of the family. In speaking to not “being enough”, I recall being told by relatives on all sides of my family that I sounded “too white” or “whitewashed”. At this point, it began to feel like there was no place for me to truly fit in with the expectations others had of me. Being put into school in the “suburbs” for a “better education”, the way that I learned to speak, keep up, adapt, and exist in that setting was all that I knew. But in this ambiguity and process of seeking self in my mixedness, I learned to find confidence and strength when representing myself from my mother who in her own mixedness also faced issues and ugly prejudices regarding her ethnicities. I remember hearing Native family refer to her as a “mutt” or “halfbreed” and thought to myself, “these are terms often employed by those who think in such divisive and oppressive ways. Why would family say this to one another?”. Nevertheless, my mother held her ground and embraced every aspect of her and she passed this on to us in a number of ways. As children, my mother would have us write essays to her every year for Black History month. I remember writing about George Washington Carver, Mahalia Jackson, and Malcolm X to name a few. I learned that my grandfather was one of the first Black head engineers for 20th Century Fox, and I learned of the injustices he faced in his work. As a young girl, I held the princess title for the African Marketplace Powwow and represented mixed Black and Native peoples at the powwows I attended. Through the years, I found empowerment and became increasingly involved with resistance organizations, teach-ins, and ways to represent my mixedness in my own scholarly work. I continue to do work with organizations such as the Lil Feathers program for Native American Students, Native American Student Programs, the Edna Aliewine Foundation in Watts, as well as guest lecturing whenever asked to.”
the Seminole Tribe of Florida. This eagerness stemmed from reflecting on the many sacrifices my ancestors made for my people to be prosperous. As an employee of my Tribe, I am fortunate to be immersed in Seminole history and culture daily. My ancestors have invested in me, so I want to be an investment to my Tribe. In the coming years, I want to help inspire other Seminoles to carry the torch our ancestors have handed us. All of my life, I grew up identifying myself as a Black male. Outside of visiting museums or learning about Native American history through education or stories my mother told me, I did not have any direct connection to my Native American side. As a result, there have been moments when I questioned whether or not I was Native enough. This belief mainly came from people I encountered who made me feel as if I did not belong. These thoughts have dispelled due to some of the close relationships I have with other Seminoles show share similar aspirations as I do in relation to helping ensure our Tribe’s longevity. Although I do not have a clan, I do not feel that makes me any less
Native. I have made efforts to better familiarize myself with my Native heritage by constantly absorbing as much knowledge about my Seminole heritage as possible. Through research, I learned about my Tribe’s first Chairwoman, Betty Mae Tiger Jumper, who devoted her life to helping the Seminole Tribe of Florida prosper. Due to her foresight and selfless efforts, many of the programs that she started still exist. As a Seminole with African ancestry, I come from two lineages that have undoubtedly experienced the most traumatic events of any other race in American history. The aftermath of slavery has created a people who are descendants of lost cultures and identities. The genocide and displacement of Native Americans have caused Natives’ rights to continue to be dismissed and disrespected. Society has marginalized us, and systemic racism continues to breed broken families, low senses of dignity, and cultural misrepresentations in our communities. These issues will continue to plague us if we stop developing resources that encourage solidarity and empowerment amongst our people.
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With Grace, From a young child who dreamed of acting in Hollywood to performing alongside our era’s iconic actors, Grace Dove’s journey has been fulfilling thus far. We sit down with the First Nations actress where she shares with us her humble beginnings, what it was like to star in The Revenant and How It Ends, and how her role in her most recent flick is a big step towards bringing positive representation of indigenous people to the big screen.
PHOTO BY SAMANTHA CARLY WORDS BY KELLY HOLMES
race Dove is probably one of the modest people I know. explorer Hugh Glass’ wife in the Oscar-winning hit The Revenant. Of course, I saw her on the big screen, but it wasn’t Not only did her career take off, but her acting chops improved until I met her in person at Phoenix Fashion Week from working alongside artists Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, a few years ago when I indeed became a fan of hers. and director Alejandro González Iñárritu. Despite just arriving at the hotel fresh off a flight, she Most recently, Dove played badass Native American tough looked beautiful and humble. She was soft-spoken and, yet, full of chick Ricki in the newly dropped Netflix film How It Ends where energy. At the time, it was right after The Revenant took home a she starred alongside very well-known actors Forest Whitaker and few Oscars, so I brought up the film and told her how much I loved Theo James. How It Ends tells the story of a man in search of his it. I remember her smile and how she was so excited to talk about pregnant fiancé in the aftermath of a mysterious apocalypse that the opportunity of being in such a movie. pretty much left the nation paralyzed with Again, I got the opportunity to sit no electricity, fires burning out of control down and catch up with Dove last week. and dangerous superstorms lighting up This time, it’s after the premiere of the the skies. You immediately notice Ricki Netflix-produced, Forest Whitaker-led as James’ and Whitaker’s characters thriller How It Ends. It’s interesting to come across her reservation, Pine Ridge learn that when she had some control of in South Dakota. We couldn’t help but her character in How It Ends, it shows laugh at her “Chill! Holeh.” response to Dove’s contributions to the movement Whitaker’s character and the mindblowof dismantling stereotypical roles and ing statement later on in the film: “The getting accurate portrayals of Native irony. Cheyenne, Chinook, Chickasaw, Americans and First Nations people in Apache, just think it’s funny that the army Hollywood. To explore Dove’s journey, I named its helicopters after tribes they A shot from How It Ends, where Grace Dove starred wanted to start from the beginning. tried to wipe out,” which left Whitaker alongside her mentor Forest Whitaker. (Courtesy: Netflix) Dove is Secwepemc from Tsq’escen’ and James’ characters speechless. You (Canim Lake Band) near 100 Mile House, British Columbia, can sense Ricki’s tough exterior and fearless spirit from the get-go, Canada. She became interested in acting and landed a part as a corwhich made her personality so relatable. respondent of the Prince George TV children’s show Splatterday I tell Dove that her character Ricki was such a bad*ss and that at the age of 11. “After that, I knew I wanted to pursue acting more from an indigenous standpoint, we either know a Ricki or are a in-depth,” she says. She was also a co-host of the reality adventure Ricki. “I developed Ricki from the heart out. I felt a deep connecTV show UnderExposed. Dove then moved to Vancouver to pursue tion to her as soon as I read the script” she explains. From there, her passionate career as an artist and actor, where she graduated she added phrases and reactions that would make her more aufrom Vancouver Film School. thentic as a Native American. “I knew my fellow indigenous peoples After a string of unsuccessful auditions, she was cast to star as would appreciate that and bring us closer to her.” Dove then helped
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Dove in the film How It Ends, where she plays a tough chick named Ricki. (Courtesy: Netflix)
choose everything from shoes to the armband style (styled by Mary McLeod) for her character. She also requested a bandana to clean Ricki’s greasy hands during the movie and even made the creative choice of cutting off her hair to better match Ricki. “Even Oglala Lakota artist Witko drew my tattoos by hand straight from Pine Ridge reservation where my character is from. I’m so proud of the authenticity Ricki showcased, and for the support from director David Rosenthal to do my thing. This is how we are going to take back our identity in Hollywood.” So seeing Dove in How It Ends is a pretty big deal. Besides seeing a First Nations female actor in a film by a significant network, what stood out about Dove’s casting was that she played a more prominent role typically seen for First Nations women. “Portraying Ricki in How It Ends was a dream come true for me,” Dove explains. “I was able to shine and bring my best work to the table truly.” When asked if she felt any pressure acting alongside wellknown actors again, she admitted she felt excitement more than anything. “Both taught me so much along the way. I look up to Forest as a great mentor. I knew this was my time and I used everything I have learned up until this point to nail it.” It’s groundbreaking to know Dove’s participation in How It Ends is a considerable step towards bringing accurate representation of indigenous people to Hollywood. “What the world sees in Hollywood and the entertainment industry affects us as Native people daily,” she says. “Our lack of authentic roles on screen makes us invisible or portrayed in a negative light which then perpetuates racism and violence towards us.” How It Ends provided an opportunity for Dove to challenge the director and writer to allow her to dive deeper into creating a character with true history and who’s capable of making her own decisions. “I took back my
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identity by standing up for my people in the one area I feel strongest, my craft.” Working on How It Ends was a blast, too. “I had the time of my life, and it really made me question what would happen if the grid really did shut down,” she says. The film was more than an intense thriller; it was full of action scenes, such as car chases and brief altercations, all in which Dove’s character fully participated in. “The action-thriller side of the movie made every day new and exciting! I was in constant high-speed car races, running from exploding cars, and even trained to shoot handguns.” For Dove, whose continually traveling between Canada and the U.S. for projects, it’s only up from here. “The work never ends, there’s no such thing as a 9 to 5 for an artist,” she explains. When asked if she has any projects coming up, she says there’s one particular movie opportunity in the Fall she knows her Native community will be proud of. Unfortunately, she can’t give any details about the film but promises to update me when she can. Right now in her downtime, she’s spending time with friends and family before her schedule speeds up again. When she is not exploring a script or auditioning, you can find Dove outdoors ripping down the slopes, climbing a rock face or doing photography. Dove’s journey of acting hasn’t been easy by any means. Despite not possessing a lengthy resume boasted by her acting counterparts, she’s undoubtedly worked side-by-side with some of our era’s iconic actors and directors. She wants to remind up and coming indigenous actors to be resilient, too. “You are enough,” she says. “Tap into the truth of who you are and let the character do the rest. If you want it bad enough, be the hardest working person in the room.”
“You’ll Miss the Hustle and Bustle” Life’s a blur. One day your children are all at home getting ready for the new school year and the next, heading out the door to start their own journeys. For those dreading the hustle and bustle rush of your child returning to school, this is for you. Written by Tree Mangan.
very year some families dread the end of summer and the beginning of the school year. Many don’t like the idea of school shopping, paying fees, and returning to the routine of homework, activities, concerts, games, etc. *Cue colossal sigh* All can be emotionally, physically and financially overwhelming. As parents dread this time of year, some parents, like those in our home, are wishing for that norm once more. What we would give to have the same pattern of life this August, but for all of us, our lives are about to change. I am a mother of three beautiful children: 18-year-old Reece, 13-year-old Kayah and 8-year-old Bly, and have been with my husband, Mark for twenty years. Each year we were the family that dreaded summer was ending, but this year is different. Our oldest son Reece will be heading off to college. This in itself is a significant change, but to make matters more compelling is that he decided to attend college and play baseball out of state in California; 18 hours away from me. Now, while I tell you my story from a mother’s perspective, please keep in mind that I don’t intend to sound selfish. But at this moment, my heart aches. My emotions are on a roller coaster of excitement, dread, pain, love and appreciation for all that is happening. I knew this day would come, but it is just too soon. Everything new that happens with my children will always be too soon, but I know I must accept and acknowledge this circle of life. As any mother would agree, from the moment my baby’s beautiful little black eyes looked into mine, I knew my heart would forever be outside of me. My whole self would live, breath and die for this tiny little thing I called Reece. He blessed me with the understanding that I was his world too and we smothered each other with cuddles, kisses, and hugs. It seemed nothing in this world would ever separate us. Watching all the first’s –rolling over, crawling, talking, and walking– it all seems like a blur from how quickly life was moving. Soon, I had little hands attached to my leg or a small body wrapped around my hip. Of all the crying, laughing and in between’s, “Mommy, I need you!” would be the first thing out of his mouth. He only wanted me. As the years have gone by, little by little Reece needed me less
Reece as a baby. (Photo: courtesy)
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2018 2018 “You’ll wonder where time had gone as you see all your hard work and life’s most important job walk out the door without you.” and less. From “Mommy, hold my hand,” to an occasional hug or, “Mom, stop, you’re embarrassing me,” and eye rolls, it was apparent. Very quickly, he went from elementary school to high school. He experienced his first girlfriend, his first heartbreak, his first vehicle and his first job. His life was happening, and I had to take a backseat and let him imbibe experience and grow from it. I had to accept it, but quickly jumped when I heard, “Mom, I need you.” Reece grew up enjoying music, video games, basketball, and baseball. His love and talent for sports started at 6-years-old. It was apparent he was athletic, and he immediately excelled in both sports. He was such a natural, reminding me of Steve Nash on the court playing against 8th graders as a 6th grader himself. I was his biggest fan, and I am sure he knew it when he heard me yelling in the stands. From the first moment I saw those beautiful little black eyes, I said nothing in this world would separate us. To my despair, the future is here and all those years of wondering what my son will become, what will he accomplish in life, all my worries of hoping I raised a good man are now presenting themselves. Hoping I was a good mother. Hoping he will be strong to survive in this world. Hoping his heart doesn’t get broken again. Hoping he doesn’t fail. All the hoping will now be put to the test as I let him go. I must be strong. I must let him be the man I raised. I must set him free on his journey. As a mother feeling selfish to keep my son within arm’s reach, I know now why my heart aches. My heart will be 18 hours away from my soul finding its own life. It will come back to me occasionally, and I will be here waiting and excited to hold him again. Until then, I will wait for the next new first and “Mom, I need you” because as his mother, I will live, breath and die for this man I call Reece. When I first became a mother at the age of 24, I
2018 Tree, Reece and husband Mark at Reece’s last high school baseball game. (Photo: courtesy)
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was afraid of the little person I was responsible for. How do I take care of him and raise him right when I was still learning how to be an adult myself. Nothing came naturally for me. Many people shared advice, and of course, I believed them, even if my instincts told me otherwise. I had to incorporate both traditional and nontraditional ways to survive. My parenting skills probably seemed harsh to some but in my mind, the world was ruthless, and if I did not teach my child sooner than later, the world would eat him alive. Throughout the stages of his life, when I felt it was time to learn something, I would teach him. From putting on his clothes to making his meals for himself, he learned many things at a young age. I always knew tomorrow wasn’t promised and if he wasn’t capable of taking care of himself, who would? This was our norm throughout his young life. I know I am making myself sound like I didn’t cuddle him or give hugs, but believe me when I say I smothered him with love and affection. He is my life. So this year, as your family goes through the hustle and bustle of getting your children back to school, please, as stressful as it may be in the moment, try to stop and enjoy it because you will be like me wishing for that norm again. You’ll wonder where time had gone as you see all your hard work and life’s most important job walk out the door without you.
On Radar Catching Up with
Tatanka Means Actor and comedian TATANKA MEANS is having quite the busy year so far. Not only does he have two films on deck to release, he is also preparing for the newest addition to his family.
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“We need to CREATE and FILM our material. That is one solution that gives us the POWER.”
NATIVE MAX: You star in the upcoming film Chickasaw Rancher alongside fellow Native American actor Martin Sensmeier. What can you tell us about the movie and your character? TATANKA MEANS: In the Chickasaw Rancher, my character is Rising Wolf of the Southern Cheyenne, best friend to Montford Johnson played by Martin Sensmier. Our relationship in the story remains connected from childhood into our adult lives. Throughout the story, they end up helping each other, crossing paths at different times and ultimately always being there in time of need. This is a cool project because the Chickasaw Nation produced the movie themselves. We filmed in the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma last summer. This is a biographical piece based on actual events. I think it's excellent the Chickasaw Nation is telling their own stories through film. And teaching filmmaking and offering possible career paths at the same time. You have another film coming up called Once Upon a River. What is the synopsis? Who is your character? Was it a tough role to play? The film Once Upon a River is based on the New York Times bestseller by Bonnie Jo Campbell. I play a young father, Bernard Crane, to my adolescent teen daughter Margo Crane played by Kenadi DelaCerna. It's a coming of age story about a young girl trying to find her way in an unfair world. My character is a father who, like a lot of single fathers, can be lost and hurt and frustrated with circumstances, but ultimately loving and protective of his family. I think a lot of women will relate to her [Kenadi’s] character
and choices in the story. It was tough to film some of the scenes, as they were heavy and emotional. But overall it was a good experience with a great director. We filmed in northern Illinois last fall. Congratulations on the newest addition to your family! Your family is expanding, how are you balancing preparing for your family to get bigger? How do you balance work and family? Yes, very excited and ready for the birth of our second child. It's hard to slow down with work because it never stops which is a good thing. I took off the entire month from traveling to be home ready and available. I am looking forward to just being able to be home, help my daughter get ready for first grade soon and prepare for our new arrival. I have a few weeks at home with my family afterward, but then I have to get back on the road right away. I tried to space out time to be home more by limiting my travel this fall. You’re well known for comedy as well as your acting. Which do you prefer and why? How are they similar and different? I don't know if I prefer one over the other. They both compliment one another and seem to balance out. They strengthen each other in so many ways, and I think that is why comedians can play dark and dramatic roles so well. It's nice when filming a movie because it gives me a break from the road. But then I start to miss the stage and get that itch to jump back in. I love traveling performing comedy for my people. It takes me all over Indian Country, and I get to meet new peo-
ple see old friends and learn new ways. And of course, share that gift of laughter and medicine. Some people know me from movies, and some know me from comedy, that's cool, whichever way I affect people I hope it is in a good way that brings happiness to the heart. How are you continuing the push for getting the accurate representation of Native Americans in Hollywood? Why is the growing movement of tribes financing their films important to this push? This is an ongoing issue that sometimes seems like we are moving forward and things are getting better and then boom we get slapped in the face again with misrepresentation. Twice this year I was up for roles that were written for Native characters, but the films ended up hiring 'other' guys who looked Indian but weren't. It's frustrating to accept, but that is a lot of the industry, still full of red face and disregard. So we need to create and film our material. That is one solution that gives us the power. I think there is and has been a lot of progress with diversity in roles and an increase in representation on the screen which is excellent. That gives hope to all brown people out there. But for Indians, we need to see more continuous familiar Native faces on TV regularly, not just once in a while. So I hope that comes about soon and I hope more Tribal nations see the positive effect of visual storytelling among our youth and invest in doing so in the future.
Keep up with Tatanka’s comedy tour schedule and upcoming film releases on his website at TATANKAMEANS.COM 24 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | AUGUST 2018
On Radar Q&A
Morning Star Angeline We interview award-winning actress Morning Star Angeline, who’s set to make her directorial debut for her new short film ‘Yá’át’ééh abíní’.
Morning Star in the short film I Am Thy Weapon. (Photo: courtesy)
NATIVE MAX: We’re so glad to have you with us today. Let’s start with an icebreaker. What do you like to do for fun? MORNING STAR: I really enjoy writing whether it’s script, spoken word, rap, love letter or short story. Most don’t see the light of day but it brings me joy. I’m also a live music fiend and enjoy hanging out with my dog, Wu. Luckily, most of my fun involves my career and most of my friends are very creative so we spend a lot of time throwing ideas around or creating things just because. When did you first become interested in acting? I don’t have a specific film or memory that attracted me to film. Growing up in Gallup, New Mexico and not seeing anyone who looked like me on screen made it feel so unrealistic. I participated in drama programs through grade school but it wasn’t until I was in high school living in the Los Angeles area that it seemed attainable - a potential career? Even in a massive city where the majority of people were pursuing the same dream, it still felt closer than back home. I soon learned it was quite the opposite. You occasionally partake in modeling. What draws you to modeling? Modeling is sort of something I fell into. I don’t consider myself a model because I don’t consider myself very good at [laughs], but it’s always an
honor when someone asks me to model for them. Over the last year, I’ve prioritized modeling work that also tells a story because I am most comfortable when my body movement is part of an “act” or a character that I can embody. I think mainstream modeling is something I've avoided because the images that are often in print can be or have been harmful to me in the past, especially as a young girl. I’ve never been comfortable with my weight and I didn’t want to be a part of an industry that I felt contributed to me and other women’s toxic body images. With that being said, modeling for indigenous and Native designers can be very different. Some designers take their cultures with them when they design, and by that eliminate or de-prioritize western beauty standards. It’s here that I feel confident in myself and also in whatever design I’m promoting. How is it different from acting? I think acting and modeling are similar in that they both deal with the concept and complications of representation. They are or can be different in what is the priority or objective of the work. Modeling is for the promotion of a design and perhaps a story, while I think acting is the promotion of emotion and human nature. You were amazing in Drunktown’s Finest, which
debuted at Sundance Film Festival in 2014. How did this help you grow as an actor? What was it like being in such a hard-hitting raw film? Thank you. My time on Drunktown’s Finest was essentially a film boot camp. Prior to being cast in this film, I had thrown in the towel with acting. After high school, I pursued acting in Los Angeles for a couple years and felt so disheartened. There were few roles for me as a Native and the whole process (like auditions) felt toxic to me. I had been working as a photographer and waitressing when I received the audition and sent in my tape. It was less than a week later that I was on set shooting in Santa Fe, NM. Every day was a learning experience not just with my work but also with myself. Less than a year prior to filming my best childhood friend passed away and it left me raw. I cut all my hair off and was just lost in mourning. I was still grieving when we filmed and my hair was just growing out. I felt the most insecure I had ever felt in my life, but I did my best to push through that for the role of Nizhoni. I knew the acting career I always wanted was at stake and I felt so unprepared, but I had all the willingness and determination to make it happen. You also won Best Supporting Actor for your role in Drunktown’s Finest at the American Indian
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Left: Morning Star Angeline played the role of Samantha Long in Paramount Network’s Yellowstone tv series. (Photo: Paramount Facebook. Right: Morning Star with her Drunktown’s Finest co-stars Jeremiah Bitsui and Carmen Moore. (Photo: courtesy)
Film Festival. How were you and your character Nizhoni similar? After all Nizhoni and I had a lot in common. My biological father Shawn Chippewa died from an alcohol-related accident when I was a baby. Her parents both died similarly. My mother later remarried a Navajo man named Daniel Freeland and while I had the privilege to be raised in a home filled with traditional teachings, I still felt lost over the loss of my dad Shawn, which took most of my life to unpack. I identified with Nizhoni’s emotions and the things she struggled to understand and express. Through her, I was able to understand my own loss better and many audiences identified with her too because separation and adoption are huge in Native communities. Did Drunktown’s Finest open doors for your career? In the end, it was truly a learning curve for me. My performance was as strong as possible at that time but I of course have and had a long way to go. The real reward was in having the privilege to travel with the film to different audiences. Seeing the effect it had on people was so humbling and drove me to realize this is what I want to do and I could do it on my terms in New Mexico. Up until this point, I had no idea that the film industry had started to boom in New Mexico, so a month or two after arriving back in LA after shooting I returned to New Mexico and started pursuing my career here, and I’ve never worked more or been happier. You were in Yellowstone as Samantha Long, the wife of Jeremiah Bitsui’s character. What was it like participating in a TV show that gave real roles to Native American actors? Working on Yellowstone was a wonderful experience for many reasons. Without giving any real spoilers away, my character dies in a very sensitive manner and of course, I had concerns over the level of sensitivity given to Samantha. She was a good mother and I wanted to be sure she was humanized appropriately. Taylor [Sheridan] gave me the time and space to unpack her and I really appreciated that, especially as merely a one-day player. I appreciate Taylor’s efforts to include Native peoples in his stories in a respectful manner and his effort especially to draw attention to MMIW [Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women]. That being said, I think it’s also important for us as Native peoples to tell our own stories so the stories can come firsthand. Some things get lost in translation and I think it’s time for Natives to be in charge via writing, directing, editing, etc. of how we are represented on screen.
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Explain your character, Samantha. In your words, how does she stand out? What did you want to bring across the screen to the audience from Samantha? I wanted her to be human and, at the core, a good mother. She’s relatively young as are Kelsey [Chow Asbille] and Jeremiah’s characters so I think I also wanted a youthfulness to her. There’s a lot she didn’t know and hadn’t experienced but she was a strong woman doing her best. The choice she made was made out of strength, although some may argue otherwise. How did it feel being on the set with other Native actors like yourself? Being on the set of Yellowstone was great because I was surrounded by Native peoples of different tribes not just in the cast, but also the crew. I saw familiar faces and met new talented actors and crew and this wasn’t on a low budget independent project; this is Paramount Network. I was so happy to see a show and writer value Native contributions on so many levels. What were your feelings regarding the controversial casting of Kelsey Chow Asbille in Yellowstone? I felt very disheartened and hurt as a Native woman when Adam Beach put out his call for a boycott of Yellowstone. Had he taken into account the gravity of asking not just fellow Native actors but crew to turn down legitimate work because he did not agree with one casting choice? Was the show really doing more bad than good? Why did he choose to publicly single out a Native woman and demand she essentially proves her identity to him? Wasn’t Adam Beach aware of the complexities of casting as well as blood quantum? My head was spinning for months on this because although Kelsey and I have very different backgrounds and upbringings I could relate to the struggle of identity and it’s a sacred thing, not something to just be brought up in an article so carelessly. I tried to not acknowledge the issue publicly but soon it felt like it was my responsibility as a Native female actress to contribute to the conversation as it affected me socially and quite honestly, emotionally. Representation is a growing topic of conversation around film and media. Each culture and race are very different so of course conversations regarding representation will differ from culture to culture. Native peoples are starting to discuss casting representation tribe to tribe, not just nonnative to Native and the discussions are worthy of our time. Although I agree there are plenty of talented Native actresses to choose from, the fact is they chose Kelsey. I didn’t feel offended by her casting and I heard no call to action from Native
women or actresses, just Adam Beach. I definitely think he brought up good points but missed the mark on subjects like blood quantum and cultural knowledge and ties when it comes to this casting choice. Outcasting Native peoples who don’t look Native or grew up far from the tribe only discourages them to reintroduce themselves to their tribes and I think that’s very harmful given the high numbers of separation and adoption in the U.S. and Canada. As it’s a very complex subject, I won’t speak to Kelsey’s particular background or experience as that is her own and I want to respect her privacy and right to speak to it herself. My point is, no matter the case, how he went about his contribution to this conversation was hurtful not just for her but for myself and I think potentially for others. I felt emotional seeing a Native man conduct himself in a way that was so disrespectful to a Native woman. You were selected in the Sundance 2018 Native Filmmaker's Lab for your short film 'Yá’át’ééh abíní'. What is your short film about? My film is about a 20-something-year-old Navajo woman who lives in a post-apocalyptic world with her Navajo dad. He dies due to this unknown virus and leaves her with all of his teachings and medicine alone. It’s a story of her trying to figure out how to move forward in her life with or without what he left her. We will be filming August 11th through the 14th in Window Rock, AZ. I’m very excited! This story was born from the grief of losing my adopted father Daniel in 2016. I wanted to tell our story in a disguised manner that would be respectful of the culture and ceremonies I grew up in but captured the beauty and love of it all. What are some of your upcoming projects or films? I wrapped up a feature film called The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw a little over a month ago. I was especially excited to be a part of that project because it is a much lighter film than the films and shows I’ve been in. My character Mitzi Bearclaw is a “city Native” who goes back to help her family on the reserve. It’s a funny story with romance and heart. I had so much fun getting to play with comedic acting and also flirt on screen. It was all so much fun. Shelly Niro is the writer, director, and producer. I believe it is due out in 2019. I also just wrapped up an episode of Chambers and a short film called Without Darker Reflection directed by Gabriel Abeyta, a good friend, and a talented filmmaker.
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WWW.NATIVEHOPE.ORG 28 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | AUGUST 2018
Welcome to the Entertainment issue, where we catch up with Native American and First Nations actors who are on the forefront of bringing acc...
Published on Aug 1, 2018
Welcome to the Entertainment issue, where we catch up with Native American and First Nations actors who are on the forefront of bringing acc...