Last week the passing of Billy Frank Jr. caused many to pause and reflect on his life and work. The Nisqually leader and tribal fishing rights advocate influenced many people around Native America. Join our conversation about his lasting legacy. We will also hear from colleagues and Native leaders who will continue his work.
Many children love to hear the story of when they were born. Do you know the story of your birth? Were you born during a natural disaster or in an unusual place? We want to hear your birth stories – either when you were born or when your own children were born! Do you enjoy hearing the tales of what was happening when a new life came into the world? How can these stories better help us understand our place in our families or our communities? Do you know the people who were in the room when you were born?
Colorado and Washington State now allow the sale of recreational marijuana within their borders, but the sale of cannabis is still illegal under federal law. What do you think about these new laws? Is your state considering legislation to allow recreational marijuana sales? What’s the stance of your tribe or Alaska Native Corporation? Do you think allowing for the sale and possession of recreational marijuana is good for communities?
Harry Smiskin (S’miss-kin) Yakama Nation, Tribal Chairman of the Yakama Nation
Alex White Plume (Oglala Lakota), former president and vice-president of the Oglala Lakota Nation
Dennis Chappabitty (Choctaw Nation), attorney
Oneida comedic great Charlie Hill walked on last week after a year-long battle with lymphoma. By mid-day December 30, social media networks were flooded with tribute messages to Charlie, his family, friends and fans. Photos and Charlie Hill stories also began to circulate, shortening the distance between his work and those who were inspired. As Native America continues to celebrate Hill’s work and his influence on the world, we stand in solidarity by honoring his memory and legacy in our electronic talking circle. We invite you to share your connection to Charlie Hill as we pay tribute to his work and life.
There’s a lot of buzz about the character Tonto this summer. We will go deeper into the Tonto files to understand how this fictional character connected to Native America in the past and what it means in the present. Join us for a pre-recorded Native America Calling, where we will hear from the cast and crew who walked the red carpet in June at the world premiere of “The Lone Ranger.” We will also explore the history of the character and ask some of the questions going around Native America. What do you think about Johnny Depp’s costume in the film? Have you ever heard the full Tonto story? How does Tonto’s legacy connect to today? What kind of mark has this character made on the Native actors and directors?
Break Music: Break Music: Whiskey Bottles (song) Quese IMC (artist) Hand Drums for Whiskey Bottles (album)
A new version of “The Lone Ranger” is on the loose in theaters across the nation and the debate over Johnny Depp playing the role of Tonto has heated things up across Native America. Folks are speaking up in both support and against it. We are opening up our electronic talking circle to let you share your thoughts on the resurrection of the film and the Hollywood character Tonto. Depp told the Rolling Stones Magazine that he, “wanted him [Tonto] to be no joke.” He also shared he wanted to give hope to kids on the reservations and remind them they are warriors. Do you think this film has the potential to boost Native pride? Where do you stand on this debate? What do you think about the way the movie is being touted as path to turning Native stereotypes around? How will this movie affect our Native nations including Native in the film industry?
Meyers (Comanche/Blackfeet) Film Project Manager/SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market
Terry Gomez (Comanche) Native Educator, Playwright, Director, Actor, Author & Artist
Break Music: Break Music: Earth Died Screaming (song) The Bastard Fairies (artist) Man Made Monster (album)