Page 1

nativemax.com

MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 1


Counting Young Children in the 2020 Census Counting everyone once, only once, and in the right place An estimated 5 percent of kids under the age of 5 weren’t counted in the 2010 Census. That’s about 1 million young children, the highest of any age group. We need your help closing this gap in the 2020 Census. Here’s what our research tells us about why young children are missed and what you can do to help make sure they are counted.

Common situations where young children aren’t counted

How you can help?

Emphasize that the census counts everyone where they live and sleep most of the time, even if the living arrangement is temporary or the parents of the child do not live there.

If the child truly spends equal amounts of time between two homes, count them where they stayed on Census Day, April 1. Coordinate with the other parent or caregiver, if possible, so the child is not counted at both homes.

If it’s not clear where the child lives or sleeps most of the time, count them where they stayed on Census Day, April 1.

Explain to service providers and families that responding to the census helps determine $675 billion in local funding for programs such as food stamps (also called the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or SNAP), the National School Lunch Program, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). When children are missed in the census, these programs miss out on funding that is based on the number of children counted.

Explain that filling out the census yourself, on your own schedule, is easier than having to respond when a census worker knocks on your door. Remind these households that the form should only take about 10 minutes to fill out and can be done online or over the phone, in addition to mailing it back.

Encourage moms with young children to ask other household members to count them and their children on the form if others live in the household.

Emphasize that parents should include babies on census forms, even if they are still in the hospital on April 1.

Encourage facilities providing services to newborns to remind parents about the importance of counting their children on the census form.

Highlight the fact that the census form only takes about 10 minutes to complete, and parents can fill it out online or over the phone in addition to paper at a time that works best for them.

The child splits time between two homes. The child lives or stays with another family or with another relative such as a grandparent.

The child lives in a lower income household.

The child lives in a household with young parents or a young, single mom.

The child is a newborn.

Connect with us @uscensusbureau


Contents May/June 2019

Welcome to the Issue 003

TABLE OF CONTENTS

004

BEHIND THE COVER

006

EDITOR’S WELCOME

007

MASTHEAD

check out what’s in this month’s issue see what it took to create the cover welcome to the issue

who’s all on our team

The Edge 009

SKIRTS FOR SPRING

014

FASHION ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: ALEXIS ESTES

when it comes to prepping our closets for spring we’re all about investment pieces, and ribbon skirts are certainly must-haves for the upcoming seasons

South Dakota-based mural painter and screenprinter Alexis Estes (Lakota) has been creating paintings and prints since 2011, and now has been incorporating her signature artwork with fashion pieces

032

009

016

NFITC RUNWAY RECAP

027

SPRINGTIME BEAUTY

we bring you the standout looks from all ten fashion designers of the 6th annual Native Fashion in the City runway show the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the weather is getting warmer; it certainly looks like springtime is upon us. We asked a few of our favorite indigenous-owned bath and body businesses–Bison Star Naturals and Indigenous Cosmetics–how to get springtime ready with their must-haves

The Insider 029

SHE RAN FOR OUR STOLEN SISTERS

she’s the runner who represented our stolen sisters at this year’s Boston Marathon. Meet 31-year-old Jordan Marie Brings Three White Horses-Daniel

Features 032

ARIZE TO THE OCCASION: WINNING DESIGNER JENNIFER JAMES & WINNING MODEL HAILEY JOHNSON

meet the winning duo of the Arize Fashion Show Avant-Garde Challenge: Designer Jennifer James and model Hailey Johnson

On Radar 039

029

nativemax.com

BREAKOUT STARS OF YELLOWSTONE

Yellowstone returns to the air after its hit first season, and gearing up for Season 2 are the breakout Native American stars of Yellowstone, in which we sat down with a few and chatted with


Behind the Cover

Behind the Cover: Shortly after the Native Max team selected the winning fashion designer and model, Jennifer James and Hailey Johnson, we all packed up and headed out to a location outside Tuba City for the cover shoot. Team photographer Zoe Friday was the main photographer for the photoshoot, while videographer Joey Little Bird took BTS footage. Friends of Native Max Drew Winters and Salvanna Brown also helped out at the shoot. Check out more BTS photos from the cover shoot online at NATIVEMAX.COM!


6TH ANNUAL NATIVE FASHION IN THE CITY DENVER, COLORADO RECAP PHOTOS; PAGE 16

OXDX

ACONAV

PLAINS SOUL

DESIGNS BY DELLA

CREASE

SAGE MOUNTAINFLOWER

ANPO IYOKPI WIN MVSKOKE AESTHETIC

NATIVE GORILLA

nativemax.com

RED BERRY WOMAN

MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 5


Welcome to the Issue

In The Edge, we feature Lynelle Shakespeare and her ribbon skirts.

We’re excited to feature the winners of the Arize Fashion Show Avant-Garde Designer Challenge on the cover: Jennifer James and Hailey Johnson.

(L to R) Musician Pete Sands and actor Moses Brings Plenty, both of whom star in Yellowstone. Read our interviews with them on page 39.

Welcome to the Issue!

W

elcome to the May/June issue of Native Max Magazine! In this issue, we focus on those who are doing amazing things in their local communities and

beyond. We sat down with the owners of Indigenous Cosmetics and Bison Star Naturals and not only asked what their springtime musthaves are, but what their goals are for their businesses. It’s all about inclusivity for indigenous people in the beauty market for Indigenous Cosmetics, while the owners of Bison Star Naturals–Angelo and Jacquelene McHorse–strive to create a marketplace for fellow indigenous entrepreneurs to set up pop-up shops, among other things. She’s the runner who represented our stolen sisters at this year’s Boston Marathon. 31-yearold Jordan Marie Brings Three White HorsesDaniel, Kul Wicasa (Lower Brule) Lakota, is as passionate and devoted to advocating for native communities as she is to running. She shares with us the journey of getting to this year’s Boston Marathon along with who she ran and prayed for. Selecting a winner for the May issue of Native Max Magazine’s first-ever cover photo contest

6 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | MAY/JUNE 2019

was no small task. Our team traveled to Tuba City, Arizona and attended the Arize Fashion Show at Western Navajo Fair to take part in the Avant-Garde Designer Challenge, where the winning first prize was a magazine cover shoot courtesy of Native Max Magazine. Our team reviewed five up-and-coming fashion designers who were apart of the designer challenge. The talent, quality, and skills the designers displayed made the selection process difficult. However, Diné fashion designer Jennifer James and Diné fashion model Hailey Johnson were selected as the winners to grace our May/June issue. Lastly, we had the amazing opportunity of traveling to Utah to interview a few Native American actors who star in drama series Yellowstone, such as Atticus Todd, Althea Sam and Moses Brings Plenty. We also interviewed musicians Joey Stylez and Pete Sands, who collaborated on an exclusive song just for the show. Along with talking to the rising stars, we chatted with the show’s co-creator Taylor Sheridan about his first connection to Indian Country and his experience working with Native American talent for Yellowstone.

nativemax.com


PROMOTION

KELLY HOLMES Founder @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.

GET YOUR DOSE OF

NATIVE MAX FOR MORE CONTENT NOT SEEN IN THE MAGAZINE, BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEO & MORE, FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Native Max Like us on Facebook to get updates on your newsfeed instantly

@NativeMax Follow us on Twitter for instant updates & moments

@NativeMaxMag Follow us on Instagram to see our world thru pics

NativeMaxMagazine Add us for a behindthe-scenes look at what we’re up to

NativeMaxMagazine Missed an Issue? No problem! Collect them all online at shop. NativeMax.com

Follow us on Pinterest for ideas, advice & inspiration MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 7


The Edge Skirts for Spring When it comes to prepping our closets for spring we’re all about investment pieces, and ribbon skirts are certainly must-haves for the upcoming seasons. Featuring ribbon skirts designed by Lynelle Shakespeare (Northern Arapaho). Photography by Zoe Friday

PLUS: FASHION ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: ALEXIS ESTES NFITC RUNWAY RECAP

nativemax.com

MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 9


The Edge

Model: Ty-Bailey Plenty Hoops (Eastern Shoshone/ Northern Arapaho/ Crow)

10 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | MAY/JUNE 2019

nativemax.com


The Edge

Model: Chandler Plenty Hoops (Eastern Shoshone/ Northern Arapaho/ Crow)

nativemax.com

MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 11


The Edge

Model: Karma Weed (Eastern Shoshone/ Northern Arapaho)

12 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | MAY/JUNE 2019

nativemax.com


The Edge

Model: Arianna Lincoln (Shoshone/Arapaho)

nativemax.com

ABOUT THE DESIGNER: Lynelle Shakespeare, Northern Arapaho from Arapahoe, WY, is a talented ribbon skirt designer. She’s a mother to 6 and grandmother to 12. Although she learned how to sew at a young age, Lynelle fully started sewing clothing when she made powwow regalia for a young grandchild. Lynelle loves to incorporate animals into her designs, with her creative process involving praying for the piece she’s sewing.

MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 13


The Edge

Fashion Artist Spotlight:

Alexis Estes

14 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | MAY/JUNE 2019

South Dakota-based mural painter and screenprinter Alexis Estes (Lakota) has been creating paintings and prints since 2011, in which her Lakota culture heavily influences her artwork. Now, Estes has been incorporating her signature artwork with fashion pieces. Photos: Alexis Estes

nativemax.com


The Edge

S

outh Dakota-based mural painter and screen-printer Alexis Estes (Lakota) has been creating paintings and prints since 2011. As an enrolled member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of South Dakota and a graduate of Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico with a Bachelor’s Degree in Indigenous Liberal Studies and a Minor in Studio, Estes’ Lakota culture influences her artwork and designs. Estes’ practice of traditional Lakota art forms, including beadwork and sewing powwow regalia, has influenced her to apply knowledge of these traditional art forms into more contemporary mediums of mural painting and screenprinting. Her grand scale public mural paintings include “Mitakuye Oyasin” at the Nativo Lodge Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico, “Rabbits” in Mata Ortiz, Chihuahua, Mexico, and “Wolakota” at the Lower Brule Recreation Center in Lower Brule, South Dakota. Alexis has created numerous designs and screenprinted them on to t-shirts, sweaters, bandanas, and stickers for her brand Higher Consciousness. Here, Estes debuts her newest line of designs which feature her signature artwork for Higher Consciousness.

Learn more about Estes and her work for Higher Consciousness at facebook.com/higherconsciousnessweb

nativemax.com

MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 15


The Edge

NFITC Runway Recap We bring you the standout looks from all ten fashion designers of the 6th annual Native Fashion in the City runway show. PHOTOS BY VIKI EAGLE

Another crazy, hectic but successful Native Fashion in the City has come and gone. Although it can be exhausting, at the end of it all, the NFITC team become enlivened with an endless supply of inspiration and motivation. As per usual, we are bringing you the top looks from all ten indigenous fashion designers of the 6th annual Native Fashion in the City event in this recap spread. Makeup and backstage set up provided by Dinéowned Ah-shí Beauty.

ACONAV

16 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | MAY/JUNE 2019

nativemax.com


The Edge

OXDX The fashion show kicked off with high energy streetwear brand OXDX. Jared Yazzie (DinĂŠ) of OXDX showcased tons of new looks like more cut-and-sew pieces featuring his signature graphic prints, including a dress he collaborated on with nativemax.com

master-beader Jamie Okuma. Also, the Eighth Generation x OXDX wool blanket made an appearance on the runway as Yazzie paired his blanket with his signature Native Americans Discovered Columbus tee. MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 17


The Edge

Crease Crease was unlike anything seen on the NFITC runway before. Described as “sleek, sexy, unapologetic and rebellious” by its designer Thomas Lopez Jr. (Lakota), Crease featured edgy looks made of mesh, leather, and fur in the palette of red, 18 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | MAY/JUNE 2019

white and black. What also stood out about Lopez’s showcase were the models themselves: the designer instructed his models to walk on the runway as if they were just dropped off of a spaceship. nativemax.com


The Edge

Plains Soul After the showcase of Crease, the runway saw women’s western wear with Plains Soul. Plains Soul featured a mixture of buckskin, beaded jewelry, adorned hats and decorative handbags on the runway. According to the designer Carrie Moran nativemax.com

McCleary (Chippewa Cree), Plains Soul’s designs are centered on the union of streetwear fashion and traditional designs and elements.

MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 19


The Edge

Native Gorilla NFITC veteran fashion designer Lakota Sage (Lakota) of Native Gorilla debuted new pieces in this year’s runway show, such as fresh graphic designs on new cuts such as hoodie dresses and crop tops. However, what caught our attention 20 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | MAY/JUNE 2019

this year were the hand-embroidered jeans one of the models wore. It’s a new design Sage is trying out and will have available for sale this Summer season.

nativemax.com


The Edge

ACONAV Returning for the fourth year in a row, women’s couture brand ACONAV and designer Loren Aragon (Acoma Pueblo) not only debuted newer pieces at the show but also whipped up brand new pieces exclusively for NFITC! After the success of launching his Floral Series at Phoenix Fashion Week last nativemax.com

October, Aragon decided to print the orange and black floral designs on Ready to Wear material! Also, Aragon included jewelry pieces by Ring Mountain Design, a Native Americanowned jewelry company by Daniel Jim and Janice Black Elk-Jim. MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 21


The Edge

Designs by Della Della Big Hair-Stump (Crow) from Montana returned to Native Fashion in the City for the third time in a row. Her line Designs by Della showcased ready-to-wear dresses, fitted

22 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | MAY/JUNE 2019

leggings, couture frocks and mini skirts all in her signature red color palette. Stump also debuted a wedding dress which featured appliquĂŠ on the front.

nativemax.com


The Edge

Muscogee Aesthetic Next to showcase her designs happens to be the youngest designer the NFITC runway has ever seen: Louisa Harjo (Muscogee/Seminole/Cherokee) is a 16-year-old aspiring fashion designer! Alongside designing and sewing, she takes nativemax.com

part in various events and projects within her community. Although her line consisted of only six looks, her showcase certainly wowed the audience. We loved her tribal-pattern tops, extravagant skirts and leather pants. MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 23


The Edge

Aŋpo Iyokpi Wiŋ A newcomer to NFITC, Alexandra Romero-Frederick (Oglala Lakota) and her namesake line (which means Happy at Dawn Woman in the Lakota language) featured vibrant ribbon skirts

24 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | MAY/JUNE 2019

and ready-to-wear comfy dresses that you can wear any time of the day. The jewelry pieces paired with the looks complemented the designs beautifully.

nativemax.com


The Edge

Sage Mountainflower Emerging fashion designer Sage Mountainflower (Ohkay Owingeh, Taos Pueblo and DinĂŠ) and her brand took to the NFITC runway for the first time this year. Her looks are driven by keeping her artwork alive through her beadwork and nativemax.com

pueblo embroidery by incorporating a contemporary style to be worn outside traditional boundaries. Sage Mountainflower Designs showcased stunning appliquĂŠ on the colorful fabric along with intricate beadwork. MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 25


The Edge

Red Berry Woman In our humble opinion, the unapologetic Red Berry Woman showcase of gorgeous gowns and ribbon shirts won the night. World-renowned fashion designer Norma Flying Horse (Hidatsa, Dakota, and Assiniboine) returned to the NFITC 26 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | MAY/JUNE 2019

runway show for the third time in a row and proved she is one to never forget: she received a standing ovation as she closed the show.

nativemax.com


The Edge

Beauty

Springtime Beauty The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the weather is getting warmer; it certainly looks like springtime is upon us. We asked a few of our favorite indigenous-owned bath and body businesses–Bison Star Naturals and Indigenous Cosmetics–how to get springtime ready with their must-haves.

Indigenous Cosmetics Chippewa and Sicangu Lakota-owned cosmetics company Indigenous Cosmetics certainly stands out amongst the rise of other indigenous makeup lines with their handmade good-for-you lipglosses and lipsticks. Founder and creator Amy Thoman tells us what inspires her colors and why her Snow/ Sunny lip gloss duo are springtime staples. When did you become interested in beauty? Amy Thoman: I have been interested in beauty ever since I can remember. What inspired you? Amy: I was inspired to create beauty products that are blended to match Native skin tones because I have always had issues finding makeup made for our richer-colored skin. The mainstream makeup market in the U.S. is targeted to too much lighter skin tones. Does your culture or homeland inspire you at all? Amy: The Bear Paw Mountains, the Black Hills, and other innativemax.com

digenous lands have influenced me to create natural makeup colors that bring out the beauty in Native tones. You will see this reflected through the Indigenous Cosmetics lip glosses and lipsticks named after plants. My culture celebrates the beauty of all types and not just the young, light-skinned, thinnedout mainstream image of beauty. Beauty is embracing the diversity of Native skin tones, traditional gender identities and the importance of everyone’s role in society regardless of age. What sets your brand apart from others? Amy: As far as I know, I am the only Native American-owned cosmetics company that custom formulates their own makeup, creates by hand and is specially formulated for richer skin tones. Do you have any faves? Why? Amy: Blue Corn ATOLE’ Facial Clay Mask from Dancing Butterfly Naturals because it makes my face so soft, and Bison Star Naturals’ Lavender

1

Indigenous Cosmetics founder Amy Thoman. (Photo: Viki Eagle/ Real Life Indian)

Lotion because it’s so moisturizing. Where do you see your brand in five years? Amy: I want to continue to add cosmetic products to my line. I envision a full line of products in outlets that are readily accessible to the Native market. What is your ultimate mission? Amy: To create cosmetics that embrace and enrich all Native beauty across the generations. I want everyone regardless of their skin tone color, gender and age to feel empowered when they wear my cosmetics.

This story is about prepping your skin for the Springtime. What are some products you recommend the most and why?

Amy: I want to recommend our exclusive collaboration collection we did with Native Gorilla back during ski season. It was specially formulated for being out in the cold. It’s moisturizing and protects against the harsh cold weather, snow and sun. The lip glosses are handmade with natural ingredients such as jojoba oil, Vitamin D, bees wax, pigments and micas without added chemicals or fillers.

2

Indigenous Cosmetics’ Springtime Must Haves: 1. Snowy Lip Gloss; $15; indigecos.com 2. Sunny Lip Gloss; $15; indigecos.com

MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 27


The Edge

Bison Star Naturals founders Angelo and Jacquelene McHorse. (Photo: Morgan Timms/The Taos News)

Bison Star Naturals for bison and a funny story are responsible for the naming of Bison Star Naturals.

What’s your ultimate mission? Angelo: My ultimate mission with Bison Star is to learn how to create a successful business and share that knowledge with the next generations. Bison Star Naturals will grow to have a production facility Where are you from? and retail store in our Angelo McHorse: I am homeland of Taos Pueblo and the entire site will from the Red Willow people of Taos Pueblo. be a wild food forest that We live in the high can be an educational mountains of northern opportunity for all those New Mexico and we are who come to visit. the northernmost Pueblo Jacquelene: Our out of the nine left along ultimate mission is to the Rio Grande River. be able to build our Jacquelene McHorse: I business to become a nawas born in the Bay Area tionwide body company with humble roots. We of Northern California and raised in Colorado. want to be able to create Angelo and I met on the scholarships for youth in first day of college in Du- our community as well rango, CO at Fort Lewis as many other potential programs. We hope to inCollege in 2007. spire and help encourage What’s behind the name our youth to know that Bison Star? they can create opporour Sage Pine Lotion keep Angelo: The Bison is tunities for themselves the insects to a minimum. without having to move a symbol of elegance, After all of that hard work strength, and abundance. to a city unless they want with your spring cleaning to. It is also a culturally outside you can relax those significant animal of all muscles with a hot bath This story is about indigenous peoples in and some of our mountain prepping your skin for North America. spring bath salts. the Springtime. What When Jacquelene and Jacquelene: With the are some products you I met in college and we recommend the most and change of the seasons my came home for her first skin always gets so dry. why? feast day, I introduced I would recommend our Angelo: Sage Pine Lotion her by her full name, Sage Pine Lotion because or Mountain Spring Bath “Jacquelene Brissonit’s super moisturizing Salt. Being out in the Stahl”. Then my little with coconut, jojoba, caswind during the day can tor and argan oils. Also, I niece answered, “did you dry out your skin, so our love our red lavender soap say Bison Star?”. We all lavender lotion will keep laughed about it at the your skin glowing with the because we use a local lavender flower as the time and then later when coconut, jojoba, castor, exfoliate and also organic and argan oils. Some of we were naming the ground turmeric to color business we remembered our customers have said it. that day. So great respect that the essential oils in

28 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | MAY/JUNE 2019

1

2 3

Bison Star’s Springtime Must Haves: 1. Mountain Spring Bath Salt; $25; bisonstarnaturals.com 2. Bison Star Red Lavender Soap; $10; bisonstarnaturals.com 3. Sage Pine Lotion; 8 oz - $20; bisonstarnaturals.com

PRODUCT SHOTS: JULIAN MARTINEZ

Bison Star Naturals is definitely making a name for themselves in the organic body care market with the help of their all-natural, essentialoils-packed lotions with smells that remind of us home. Bison Star Naturals founders Angelo and Jacquelene McHorse share with us the story of creating their company along with their springtime must-haves.

nativemax.com


The Insider

Culture

She Ran for Our Stolen Sisters She’s the runner who represented our stolen sisters at this year’s Boston Marathon. 31-year-old Jordan Marie Brings Three White Horses-Daniel, Kul Wicasa (Lower Brule) Lakota, is as passionate and devoted to advocating for native communities as she is to running.

B

esides running, working for the indigenous community is another passion of hers. Jordan is the founder of the Rising Hearts Coalition, an indigenous-led group designed to elevate awareness of indigenous issues while building collaborative partnerships to accomplish equitable and just treatment for people and Mother Earth through targeted organizing and advocacy. She is also the co-founder of DC ReInvest Coalition, a group focused on divesting efforts and defunding fossil fuels while promoting public banking. Jordan also sits on the Board of Directors with Native Hope, PowerShift Network, and Lab29 and was recently named as a 2018 recipient of the NCAIED Native

Jordan at the school before she got on the bus in Hopkington to go to Athlete’s Village) during Boston Marathon. Photo: Devin Whetstone

(continued on next page)

nativemax.com

MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 29


The Insider

Jordan on Heartbreak Hill during Boston Marathon. Photo: Boston Athletic Association (BAA)

American 40 Under 40 Award. Her experience in grants management, policy, and organizing has been leveraged by both not-for-profit and for-profit organizations in the areas of environmental sustainability, access to quality healthcare, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, the Violence Against Women Act, and a variety of other worthy causes. We talk to Jordan who prayed and ran for her grandfather and for #MMIW/MMIWG at this year’s Boston Marathon. Did you live off the reservation? Where did you grow up? I grew up in Lower Brule and Chamberlain, SD until I was 9 years old. Moved to Farmington, Maine where I lived until the age of 24, and graduated from the University of Maine in Orono, Maine in 2011. What was life like before your family moved to Maine? Before we moved, I was very immersed in our culture. My whole family was in South Dakota and involved in sports. I remember swimming in the Missouri River with my cousins and family. Lots of powwows, dancing and ceremonies. Going to visit grandpa or grandma at their offices at Tribal headquarters. It was great to be around my family, to be around Native people. Living in Maine however, I felt obviously different. I was so far away from what I knew. My parents still tried to raise me as traditionally as possible, but to me, I knew I was different. That was difficult to grow up with. Many have never met a Native person or they didn’t even know that their state had five federallyrecognized tribes. It was like living in two worlds with two identities. It was a struggle because I wanted to fit in. But it was in college, where I just accepted it. And I remember the words my dad would say to me before I left for school every day, “be a strong, proud Lakota woman.” When did you start running? I began running when I was 10 years old. My grandfather Nyal Brings, who was a very accomplished runner for South Dakota and in the midwest (who also tried to get the Olympic Trial standards alongside his good friend, relative and running rival Billy Mills), took me on my first run. I didn’t like it at first, but because of my grandpa and my mom who was a sprinter who trained for the 1988 Olympic Trials, I felt that I should run and give it try. It wasn’t until college that I truly fell in love in with it. Is running therapeutic? Running helps me to de-stress, and it connects me and my feet to the very source that gives us life, Unci Maka (Mother Earth). It connects me to my surroundings. It’s my way to explore, but it was also a way for me to push myself and challenge myself. I wanted to run fast. I trained for it and still do. Running has helped me be organized and structured in my life. But within the last couple of years I have found a new purpose with running: to connect my passion of running with my passion of helping our people. Did you run in any other marathons or races? Have you ran in the Boston Marathon before? I have completed a handful of half marathons since 2011 at an elite competitive level. I have run in only two marathons, both have been the Boston Marathon. The first one, I ran in 2016 where I was fundraising for Running Strong for American Indian Youth. Sadly, I got injured about a month before, so my goal for that race was to just get to the finish line and enjoy the experience. I stopped racing in track races and moved to longer distances and road races a few years ago. I enjoy the longer distances. I also plan to move into trail running as well.

30 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | MAY/JUNE 2019

How did you prepare for the Boston Marathon? I was asked to run the 123rd Boston Marathon 2019 by Wings of America executive director Dustin Martin in mid-February. I would be a chaperone and mentor to five Native American high school juniors for this trip. I would also be fundraising for their Wings Pursuit program, which brings five youth to Boston to run in the BAA 5K and a college visit with Harvard University. Wings of America hopes to build healthy communities through native youth running initiatives. At that time, I was only training for the San Diego Half Marathon in early March. I didn’t have much time to prepare, so I adjusted my training to ensure that I’d be at least able to complete the marathon with a hopefully good time. I had completed a 22 miler and an 18 miler within a month prior to the Boston Marathon. I adjusted my Tuesday and Friday workouts to be more marathon tempo pace. I did lots of foam rolling, ab workouts, weights, hot tubs and cold baths for recovery and ensured my diet had the highest calories mixed with iron and protein for my body. When did you decide to run for #MMIW/MMIWG at this year’s Boston Marathon?

I executed a good race at the San Diego half marathon, raising awareness for the second year in a row for #MMIW/MMIWG on my bib number. I planned on only doing this marathon and being there for our youth. But I kept asking myself, what else can I do? How can I raise awareness of MMIWG? So about a couple weeks prior, I was working with my coach to update my racing uniform to be red and have the well-known white image of an indigenous woman on it and have the sayings “MMIWG”, “No More Stolen Sisters” and “Womxn Are Sacred” on it. But I didn’t hear back from the artist and owners of that image until after the marathon. So a week before the Boston Marathon I figured, I’ll paint this movement on my body in the color red and use the red handprint on my face to break the silence of the violence happening to our Indigenous womxn and peoples. I kept it to myself from the public. My parents and my partner knew and helped, but I didn’t want to purposely make a skeptical about it. I wanted this run to be for our stolen sisters and my lala (grandfather in Lakota). It was my way to give these womxn a platform to be seen, heard, and remembered. It was a way to honor my lala with running since he passed away in 2016 from cancer a couple months

nativemax.com


The Insider

Jordan crossing the finish line. Photo: Boston Athletic Association (BAA)

Jordan with the picture of her lala Nyal Brings after the finish line. Photo: Terra Daniel

after I completed my first Boston Marathon. I found twenty-six names of Indigenous womxn stolen from our communities and luckily, just found out in the last two days that Anela Gipp Alkire and Whisper Little Owl Horseman have been found. Which brings so much joy and happiness for those girls and their families. This run was for them. This run was something beyond myself, my way to connect to the lands, and beyond my efforts to try and run fast or get a certain time that I’ve trained for. Who did you run for? I ran for Amanda Webster, Savanna LaFontaine Greywind, Miranda Tenorio, Britney Tiger, Ashley Loring Heavyrunner, Lakota Rae Renville, Lucella Yazzie, Olivia LoneBear, Henny Scott, Ashlynn Mike, Jessika Alva, Josie Lee Head, Ariel Begay, Sunshine Wood, Raven Henry, Whisper Little Owl Horseman [UPDATE: found], Angel Rose Tomow, Lauren Two Bulls, Anela Gipp Alkire [UPDATE: found, 4/18/19], Mariah High Hawk, Freda KnowsHisGun, Trinity Kriener, Anndiné Jones, Tamra Keepness, Noreen Osborne, and Starla SpiritTrack. How did you honor them while running? My plan was to say a stolen sister’s name out loud, then a prayer for them and their families. Then the rest of that mile was to connect my body with the roads, to my surroundings, and enjoy the crowds and this course. Then the next mile would come up, and I’d do it again. The course is 26.2 miles, so during the final .2 mile to the finish line, I prayed for my grandpa Nyal. The last time I ran the Boston Marathon, while I was crossing through the finish line, I was in pain from my injury. At the time he was battling cancer, but he was so supportive of my running and gave the best pep talks. So that final push to the finish line was for him. The whole experience was overwhelming, emotional, happy, sad and exciting. I felt that this

nativemax.com

run for our stolen sisters; it was an honor and it was the very least I could do to help. I wanted to raise awareness of an epidemic and national crisis, of missing and murdered indigenous womxn, girls and peoples that, in my opinion, has been happening since 1492. This was a platform I thought was best for them and for myself to help. Did you run into any struggles while running the Boston Marathon? There were no physical struggles. I was very happy to see my mom and my partner at the halfway point. It was getting to be emotional and I needed to see them. I saw my partner first and he was running alongside me, handing me my gel and Gatorade and chatting. I saw my mom after we LILI’d to find each other. That was exciting! And I kept thinking about my dad and his words he’d say to me growing up and the advice from the night before, “run stupid, you’ve prepared for this, you got this.” Before I saw them though, I ran into a Hopi friend, Caroline, who I ran in 2016 with too on the course. It was great to see her and other indigenous runners there (apparently, there were sixteen Natives that ran the Boston Marathon). I also ran into Harold Bennally (Dine) on the course, and he ran in his moccasins. The only struggle was knowing what I was praying for and raising awareness for that was heartbreaking. The fact that I could make up a list of twenty-six stolen sisters’ names that easily was heartbreaking. That is only the smallest percentage to reflect on what the actual numbers are and that it’s nowhere near showing the truth of this epidemic. Luckily, there are many Indigenous peoples organizing, helping to develop policies, advocating, trainings, and doing the research so that there is actual and accurate data being documented by law enforcement and federal agencies. It gives me hope that this movement for our relatives is heading in the right direction of finding solutions and ending the violence on womxn. How did you overcome the emotional struggles? That is how I overcame that sadness and struggle.

This race was beyond me. This race was for our sisters. This race was the first time that it all came together, where I could connect my passion of running with my passion to help our people. It all made sense. This is my purpose moving forward on trying to continue advocacy, running, and to help our communities. What was it like crossing that finish line? It felt overwhelmingly emotional. I felt so happy to finish. Then all of a sudden, I felt the discomfort and pain. My heart ached but I felt proud. Patti Dillon– who is Mi’kmaq, on the Wings of America Board of Directors and the first Native American woman to break 2 hours and 30 minutes at the NYC Marathon– and her husband, along with film director of 3100 Sanjay Rawal, greeted me at the finish line. And I just started crying when I hugged her and told her about the run. I felt that this was the best I could do for our relatives. I had no idea the attention that our stolen sisters would receive beyond within our Indigenous communities. I’m very happy that I can help with my running platform, and I will continue to do so. Do you have any other marathons or runs coming up? I have a half marathon coming up in June, and another marathon in the early fall. I have big goals for my running after this race competitively speaking, but I plan to keep running for our stolen sisters moving forward and running and praying for our relatives. So far, the comments and messages I’ve received have been incredible. I appreciate it all. And I’ve heard from some of the family members of the sisters I prayed for, and that meant the world to me. I hope I can connect with them and help them in any capacity I am able to and hope to continue this in the future. I’m very proud to be Indigenous, to be Lakota. What is your advice for Native youth who are struggling with their own identities and obstacles? My advice would be to love yourself. You are here because your family and ancestors fought so hard for you to be here. You are everything. You are meant to be here. You are beautiful. You are resilient. And you have so many within your community and across Indian Country that are rooting for you. You are meant to be who you are. Connect with other Natives. Go for a run. Do whatever you need to do, that brings you joy, calmness, and adventure. Your voice is your existence and your greatest asset.

MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 31


On the Cover

32 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | MAY/JUNE 2019

nativemax.com


On the Cover

Arize to the

Occasion Selecting a winner for the May/June issue of Native Max Magazine’s first-ever cover photo contest was no small task. Our team traveled to Tuba City, Arizona and attended the Arize Fashion Show at Western Navajo Fair to take part in the Avant-Garde Designer Challenge, where the winning first prize was a magazine cover shoot courtesy of Native Max Magazine. Our team reviewed five up-and-coming fashion designers who were apart of the designer challenge. The talent, quality, and skills the designers displayed made the selection process difficult. However, Diné fashion designer Jennifer James and Diné fashion model Hailey Johnson were selected as the winners to grace our May/June issue. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ZOE FRIDAY ASSISTANCE BY DREW WINTERS & SALVANNA BROWN

nativemax.com

MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 33


On the Cover

34 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | MAY/JUNE 2019

nativemax.com


On the Cover

Meet winning designer Jennifer James Fashion designer Jennifer James is Diné from Shonto, Arizona and speaks fluent Diné. James captured the attention of the judges and Native Max Magazine team with her “Walk in Beauty” dress which was made of black plastic and glitter and featured a Navajo basket design on the bottom. Congratulations on winning first place in the Avant-Garde Designer Challenge! First off, could you share a little bit about yourself? My name is Jennifer James. I have seven children and one granddaughter. I’ve been married for twenty years with my husband Ronald James. I spent most of my time raising my children and advocating for their education. I've worked here and there but my family meant more to me than anything else. What are some of the shows you featured your work as a designer? Any up and coming shows? As I was home, I spent my time sewing and designing for upcoming shows on the Navajo Reservation. I've done a show in Scottsdale in 2017, and Santa Fe, New Mexico for SEEDS Wearable Art Fashion Show in 2018. My next challenge is a show in New York City at Battery Park, Manhattan in September 2019. My designs are shown on Facebook as Jennifer R James and Instagram as jj_jamzs1518. When did you become interested in sewing clothes? Who taught you how to sew? My journey started in 2003. My mother taught me basic sewing and how to use patterns. In 2007 I started designing and displaying my designs at local flea markets. I have helped my community with my Native and contemporary style for special occasions and their needs. Today, with all the wearable art fashion challenges, I included couture style. My design brand is called JJamez Designs and is not a household name yet, but I am working on it. What’s your signature aesthetic when designing clothes? What makes it stand out from other designers in the southwest? I always try to go for a new fresh look. I do the best I can to use different types of materials and I try to play around with it. Sometimes designs come to me in my dreams. Having my eyes wide open to everything around me gives me new ideas. Even now I feel, brings something positive into my designs. Beauty is in everyone, no matter what shape or form. When I'm doing a show, I give everyone a chance to model for me. It's a great exchange because my designs show different sizes. I promote others and they promote me. It's not always about me. It's about others too.

The purpose of it was because of my mother. She taught me the greatest gift and my grandmother who passed it down to my mother and me. The inspiration behind it is, my parents and grandparents always prayed and shared their stories behind “Walk in Beauty”. Everyone interprets it in a unique way because we are all raised differently. I interpreted as believing in yourself, believing in your dreams and goals. To love yourself and pray every day. Never forget the people who helped you get where you are today, like your parents, grandparents and your supporters. Don't judge and never belittle people because we are not perfect. Always help one another because we are all equal. How do you overcome struggles? I overcome struggles with the help of my family and supporters. As a Díné woman, praying is essential. We cannot go without prayers. There is no progress without struggle. That's just life. And lastly, what is your advice to an up and coming Native youth who is interested in pursuing fashion design? If our Native youth are interested in pursuing fashion design, it's a big challenge and takes patience. Being a designer and knowing the skills of putting a garment together is a big plus. If you ever watched the series, Project Runway they have to do everything themselves. I mentored three students from Tuba City Boarding School in 2017 and I taught them to step by step and they put their own garments together themselves. So it is possible and believes in yourself and your dreams. Have support from family and friends. Get to know other people who are in the business. Learn how to communicate and ask questions. You have to pace yourself and also help others when you are ready. Never forget people who help you along the way. Always be nice and courteous. Know where you come from and know yourself, like your clans, tradition, and culture. Remember that we make mistakes and how sometimes things don't always turn out the way you want. It's okay. I've been there so many times and I always managed to figure something out by the help of my loved ones or a prayer. It does get harder but I see myself when I used to think, ”how do these designer's get to be in the magazines, get recognized, or be in shows?” You have to get out there, be brave, have courage and confidence in yourself. Be ready and prepare for your goals. You have to work hard to get where you want to be.

What inspires you and why? I think what inspires me is the challenge to make something new and interesting. Every designer has their own style and taste. That's what brings us all out into our art or designs. Our passion in creating something coming to life. Tell us about your winning piece. What was the purpose of it? And the inspiration behind it? The garment I made is made of black plastic and glitter. I had designs made of glitter at the bottom and top. The bottom of the dress is like a Navajo basket design and the top says" Walk in Beauty" and the side top front is silhouettes of children and whoever your supporters are.

nativemax.com

MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 35


On the Cover

Meet winning model Hailey Johnson Up-and-coming 16-year-old Diné model Hailey Johnson modeled for designer Jennifer James at the Arize Fashion Show and was selected to model on the cover with James after the Avant-Garde Designer Challenge. What’s your tribe? Where are you from? I am from the Navajo Nation in Chinle, Arizona. Congratulations on being the winning model in the Avant-Garde Designer Challenge! First off, could you share a little bit about yourself? As a Diné, self-introduction is the first identifier of who we are. My clans are Towering House People, and Salt Water is the clan I am born for. Deersprings are my maternal grandfather’s and Red Running into the Water are my paternal grandfather’s clans. I’m currently a sophomore at Chinle High School. What’s a unique feature of yours that you love about yourself? My unique feature is my long hair. Since I was a little girl, my late grandmother Marie A. Lee, taught me to keep my hair long. Her teachings were to keep my hair braided to help it grow. One of the teachings is the longer my hair the more knowledge I would have. I believe my hair signifies who I am and where I come from. Respectfully I am continuing what I have been taught. I have an easy going personality, who loves to laugh, with an artistic touch and at times but I am still trying to break out of my shyness shell. I am still learning about life and I am excited to learn more. You’re pretty young, when did you become interested in modeling?

balance. What are your goals? My goals are to finish high school then go to college and get a degree in Graphic Design. I still plan to continue on with modeling, hoping to get signed with a modeling agency. I also want to travel the world and hopefully, the more opportunities I have with modeling I will be able to see the world. As the oldest sibling, I will continue to care for my brothers and be there for my family. How do you overcome struggles? Emotionally, I struggle with my self-esteem. I used to keep it all in all my feelings and thoughts to myself. Basically, I did not have faith in myself, as in our traditions we are taught to have self-respect and value one’s worth. I now realized that this was not healthy mentally. I began expressing myself to my loved ones verbally and through writing poetry I became more expressive. I have learned that finding a solution is the best remedy for any situation. This has helped me to become a better person. I believe there will be more struggles ahead of me, and I will overcome them with the new knowledge and prayers I have learned. And lastly, what would you tell a young native youth who is interested in modeling? Honestly, I would like the youth to know to always have confidence in themselves. In my experience as I began modeling, I was not confident. My fears of not being good enough was a challenge but overtime I overcame my fears as my confidence grew. If you have a passion for doing what you love then continue and do your best. Many may not know modeling is not easy. Modeling for me is a challenge and I chose to take that challenge on. I believe modeling will open new doors to many opportunities.

I became interested in modeling when I did my first traditional photoshoot when I was only thirteen years old at Thunderbird for Leroy De Jolie, the instructor with Arizona Highways Contributing PhotoScape’s. I am thankful for my cousin-sister, Doriscita Thinn, who introduced me to the modeling world. This experience inspired me to begin modeling. Thus far this has been an amazing journey. What has your journey been like so far modeling? Do you plan to model professionally? On this beautiful journey as a model, I have met many prominent fashion designers and beautiful models. The combination of modeling has grown into a passion. I enjoy the energy of preparing for a show. The hair, makeup, fitting of outfits, and the excitement of the runway, the “glamour life” [laughs]. As a young model, I still have much to learn, and I am thankful for those who have inspired and believe in me. I do plan to model professionally because as a model I love the adrenaline of walking down that runway so I would like to continue that. I would also like to model professionally because as a sixteen-year-old I would like to be a role model for the native youth who are interested in modeling as well. How do you balance school, life, and modeling? Well of course because I am still in school I put my education and studies first. My parents have expectations that keep me in line. I enjoy spending time with family and friends. My family is so supportive and I am thankful for them. I model mostly on the weekends which work out well. Overall, I am still in the learning process of balancing my tradition with modern times. This is an ongoing process that I need to continue to

36 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | MAY/JUNE 2019

nativemax.com


On the Cover

nativemax.com

MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 37


#StoryTellingHeals 38 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | MAY/JUNE 2019

NATIVEHOPE.ORG

nativemax.com


On Radar Breakout Stars of

Yellowstone

Chief Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham) makes a shocking discovery on the reservation in “Yellowstone.” Photo: Paramount Network

Yellowstone returns to the air after its hit first season, in which it was 2018’s most-watched new cable series and the mostwatched drama series premiere. Gearing up for Season 2 are the breakout Native American stars of Yellowstone, in which we sat down with a few and chatted with.

nativemax.com

MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 39


On Radar

P

aramount Networks' newest breakout series Yellowstone certainly grabbed attention this past year as a gritty western drama that features notable actors such as Kevin Costner, Luke Grimes, Wes Bentley, Kelsey Asbille, Gil Birmingham, and more. Yellowstone follows the Dutton family, led by John Dutton (played by Costner), who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, under constant attack by those it borders - land developers, an Indian reservation, and America's first National Park. Yellowstone returns to the air after its hit first season, in which it was 2018's most-watched new cable series and the most-watched drama series premiere on ad-supported cable television since 2016's The People vs. OJ Simpson. Paramount Network announced Yellowstone season-two would premiere Wednesday, June 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, and picks up with the Dutton family still fighting for their ranch and foreshadows new dangers that threaten to upend their home and their lives. The first season averaged 5.1 million total viewers per episode, making it 2018's mostwatched new cable series and ranking second across all cable TV series for the year. Starring 40 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | MAY/JUNE 2019

world-renowned actor and Oscar-winner Costner, Yellowstone is co-created by critically-acclaimed, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (Wind River, Hell or High Water and Sicario), and John Linson. In season one, the tv show also featured a handful of both veteran and up-and-coming Native American actors well-known throughout Indian Country: Birmingham, Jeremiah Bitsui, Moses Brings Plenty, Atticus Todd, and Althea Sam, to name a few. Birmingham plays Chief Thomas Rainwater, the tribal chief and casino leader who's determined to keep his reservation out of the grasps of wealthy rancher John Dutton. The rest of the Native American actors play various supporting roles in the show like Moses Brings Plenty plays Rainwater's driver, and Atticus Todd portrays a member of the tribal police. Yellowstone helps support the Native American community, from actors and musicians to artisans. As we came to find out, the Yellowstone team commissioned Native American artists to create artwork that viewers find decorating Chief Running Water's tribal office. Sheridan also brought in award-winning Cree hip hop artist Joey Stylez and singer and actor Pete Sands to col-

laborate on a song exclusively for the tv show. We sat down and interviewed a few of the Native American actors who starred in and musicians who collaborated on music for Yellowstone.

Atticus Todd; Anishinabe Role in Yellowstone: Police chief Where did you grow up? Where are you from? My people are in Wisconsin. I grew up mostly in southwestern Minnesota. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? So I live in LA right; I was a little farm kid whose best friends were his dog and his horse. How I got from there to here was quite a leap. What are your thoughts in regards to Taylor Sheridan and his process? I have such affection and appreciation and respect for Taylor because he is one of the good ones. He genuinely feels, he's genuinely there with it. Who is your character, and how did you want to nativemax.com


On Radar “Yellowstone” premieres Wednesday, June 20 on Paramount Network. Pictured (l to r): (Pete Sands), Mo (Mo Brings Plenty), Thomas Rainwater (Gil Birmingham), Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser), John Dutton (Kevin Costner), Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley). Photo: Paramount Network

Utah taking care of her when I was a single mom and it was very difficult to do all of that, plus at the same time transition and trying to get her going to school. She went to Syracuse University in upstate New York where she got her degree in photography. I’m super proud of her and what she’s accomplished. What has your experience been like working with Native actors on the set of Yellowstone? It’s nice to get to know these people. I worked with a lot of background people. It’s nice to see them getting out there and try to be apart of the entertainment industry. As an up and coming actor yourself, what would your advice be for anyone interested in pursuing acting? It’s a lot of work and sometimes you don’t get such a big reward for doing it but once you get that big thing you’ve been waiting for that’s probably one of the biggest rewards. And telling a story especially because it means something to you to be out there to tell people a story about what’s going on and how you can help people, I would say that’s the biggest reward and just work hard every single day. It’s tough to be an actor, I never realized that until I started doing it. It’s not easy, it’s work.

Joey Stylez; Cree Metis Pete Sands; Navajo Role in Yellowstone: Musicians who collaborated on an exclusive track for the show Musicians who collaborated on an exclusive track for Yellowstone.

portray him across the big screen? I have a fine line dance I have to be doing all the time. I'm a genuine respector and upholder of the law. That is my job. But I also have to understand that everybody else is not playing by the rules. So if I play too hard by the rules, I will absolutely lose. If you play the rules and the other people are cheating, you're going to lose. So sometimes, you'll watch, and I will bend the law. Particularly in support of the Chief [Chief Rain Water], who is a big bender of the law.

Althea Sam; Navajo Role in Yellowstone: Samantha Long’s mother

What sparked the collaboration? Joey: It feels like a magnet. We all have magnets in us. Before we come to this life we pick our allies and I think when I was upstairs signing my contract to come down here, I signed up with him [Pete], I signed up with Daryl [Begay], I signed up with Taylor [Sheridan]. I have a life mission here and these people are going to help me accomplish my mission. I seen him [Pete] and I was drawn to his energy. There was just something about him, I reached out to him. In a couple of weeks, he sent me something. We worked with DJ Ojibwe a very talented producer, I sent him the thing [track] and he sent it back.

Moses Brings Plenty; Lakota Role in Yellowstone: Chief Rainwater’s driver His take on the tv show: Also on this show, it’s such a blessing to see Native people employed behind the scenes, such as Daryl [Begay] and Chelsea [Mohawk], there’s others too. It’s a blessing to see our people being employed, Native people sharing their musical talents too.

What tribe are you from and where did you grow up? I’m from the Navajo Nation, I’m Navajo, Apache, and Zuni mixed. My father was in the military so I grew up all over the place.

Taylor Sheridan Role in Yellowstone: Co-creator

Will you share a little bit about yourself? I’m an artist and I take pride in the fact that I was in the military. I take pride in my daughter. I worked two jobs and I went to school at the University of

Could you share with us a little bit about yourself and your connection to Indian Country? I grew up in central Texas in Comanche country on a ranch. My introduction to Indian Country was

nativemax.com

where I lived. Every time it would rain we’d run around and you’d find arrowheads by the dozens. We’d have buckets of them. It fascinated my father and he got curious like, “you know who was here before us?” and began studying them and a museum in Fort Worth, Texas dated a lot of these arrowheads that we found to 2 thousand years ago. Then you wonder, “how did those people live and what happened to them, and how did we get here?” Sheridan became close to the Native American community after participating in a mixed sweat ceremony in the Chumash territory in California: This way spoke to me so I asked if I could come back and the sweat leader said, “Yeah, any time.” And so I was accepted and I became really close to the community and then being a broke actor, at one point I was homeless and a lot of these guys camped out up there, and I asked, “hey can I camp with you guys?” and they said, “yeah sure”. We just became friends. And then with some of these guys we went up to Pine Ridge [South Dakota] and I stayed up there and they welcomed me as well and I started to see some of the problems that I heard. And that’s when I decided, that this form of storytelling done the right way, there’s a whole world that people don’t know about, and a world that our government and our past society created. So it’s not just a thing that happened, it’s a thing that was systematically done and no one thinks about that. And I decided then, I used to tell them, “someday I’m going to make movies about this and you watch, people will listen.” So then I got the chance and I did it. I became a voice and I hope to continue. How Sheridan’s connection to Indian Country inspires storytelling: So telling stories is one thing you can do. The next thing I’m doing is, I can hire Native American actors, give them the opportunity to play roles that aren’t specific to a Native American. I try to do that with any role but give these people opportunities. And also it does a number of things. Number one, the more opportunities you give these actors the more these young kids on the rez that dream about it, they go, “gosh maybe I could have a chance,”. And so then they try it and they branch out and they start becoming filmmakers and they tell their own stories. And the other thing is it continues to break down stereotypical walls. Yellowstone showcased Native American actors in fully realized roles, such as Gil Birmingham, Jeremiah Bitsui, and Crystle Lightning, and musicians who collaborated like Joey Stylez, and Pete Sands. These are the next generation of young Native Hollywood. What was your experience like working with them? It’s a real delight. I’ve worked with Gil now three times, two movies together and now, I know him so well I’m literally writing for him. We’ve nicknamed him, One Take Gil [laughs]. It’s a lot of fun to find young artists and always seeking out that new young Native talent, find a way to implement them in the story is a lot of fun. The music is, one of my favorite things to do is find music for the show. There’s a lot of really popular Native musicians the world doesn’t know and to have an opportunity to introduce the world to Pete Sands and Joey Stylez and Drezus and some of these really innovative artists and introduce a really broad market to them. It’s so fresh and I love to take music you wouldn’t expect to hear in a western and place it in there. MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 41


Until Later

Just a reminder from Native Max team member Crystal S. to bloom this Springtime by taking care of yourself and accomplishing your goals.

Illustration by Crystal S.

42 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | MAY/JUNE 2019

nativemax.com


Shop Native Max Mags, Merch & More nativemax.com/shop nativemax.com

MAY/JUNE 2019 | NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE 43


44 NATIVE MAX MAGAZINE | MAY/JUNE 2019

nativemax.com

Profile for Native Max Magazine

Native Max Magazine - May/June 2019  

Advertisement