Indian Uprising: Native Indigenous People in Film

This Sunday, from 7 to 8pm, Indian Uprising discusses the portrayals of Native Americans in films.

Movies made under the auspices of Hollywood entrepreneurs and by Independent filmmakers, to include documentaries and television specials, have a powerful effect on viewers about their understanding and beliefs of humans, culture, history and current events. And, all theatrical films are musically scored to sway and influence the emotions of the viewer in accord with the story being presented.

Historically, most movies (and other media) made about or containing content on Native Indigenous peoples have been produced by non-Natives. They create stories according to their own values and perceptions of Indigenous people, by and large, are misguided, consequently delivering distorted views. Those distortions are underpinnings of the status quo and white racism prevalent in the U.S. and elsewhere.

It is urgent that Native Indigenous people magnify their efforts to tell and produce their own stories of truth, as they know it, as advocates, using mass media such as film/video and via electronic means, to properly inform the public. Storytellers also need to be mindful that many oppressed peoples, unfortunately, having been invaded and then colonized over the centuries, do come to believe or are passive about such lies and distortions made about them, and not to unintentionally reinforce such views.


Drew Hayden Taylor (Ojibwe from Ontario, Canada), is an award-winning Canadian playwright, a journalist/columnist, short-story writer, novelist and scriptwriter. Most notably, he wrote and directed Redskins, Tricksters and Puppy Stew, a documentary on Native humor for the National Film Board of Canada.

Georgia Wettlin-Larsen (Assiniboine/Nakota), Program Director, First Nations Composer Initiative c/o the American Composers Forum (non-profit), St. Paul, MN. FNCI provides a virtual gathering place for all interested in American Indian music in all its forms-performance, composition, theater and film, dance-both contemporary and traditional.

N. Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache), Programmer for Native American Initiatives at the Sundance Institute, Beverly Hills Office, Los Angeles, CA. Sundance Institute is a non-profit organization based in Park City , Utah , and founded by actor/director/producer Robert Redford in 1981.

Rhiana Yazzie (Navajo), a playwright whose work has been performed from Mexico to Alaska. She writes a column, “A Navajo in the North” for, and is a host of WomenSpeak (, a weekly radio program on KFAI in Minneapolis. She is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and the University of Southern California, Masters of Professional Writing Program.
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Eliminating the Hurts of White Racism by Patty Wipfler. Racism is one of the key issues in our world today. The economic and cultural domination of people of Caucasian descent over people of color has infected cultures the world over. People of color of varying races and backgrounds must contend, in general, with fewer resources and more limited access to power over their environments than white people. They also must do battle with disrespectful and limiting stereotypes about them that are passed down from generation to generation among people of the dominant culture. For more:

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Indian Uprising a one-hour Public & Cultural Affairs program for and by Native Indigenous People broadcast each Sunday at 7:00 p.m. CST on KFAI 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul, Minnesota. To listen via the internet visit Programs are archived for two weeks.