In praise of the papoose – Happy Native American Heritage Month!

The term "papoose" in English refers to both young Native American children and their cradle board carriers. The word come to English from the Narragansett term papoòs. As evinced by the following historical photographs, cradle board carriers were once popular not just within the Alqonquin nation but throughout much of indigenous North America and maybe beyond. I don't … Continue reading In praise of the papoose – Happy Native American Heritage Month!

Jay Silverheels – Happy American Indian Heritage Month

Jay Silverheels was a Kanien'kehá:ka actor born Harold J. Smith on May 26th, 1912. He was born on the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation reservation, the most populous First Nation in Canada, and the only nation in which all six Iroquois nations live together. He was the third of eleven children born to Major … Continue reading Jay Silverheels – Happy American Indian Heritage Month

Ray Mala – Hollywood’s First Native American Star

    Ray Mala was an Inupiat actor born in Candle, Alaska on December 27th, 1906. In 1925 Mala made his way to Edendale and got a job as a cameraman with Fox Film Corporation, which relocated the following year to Movietone City, in modern Century City.   In 1932, Mala was featured as an actor in Edwin … Continue reading Ray Mala – Hollywood’s First Native American Star

Red Wing and Young Deer, the First Couple of Native American Silent Film

Cast and Crew Members at Inceville in Santa Monica, circa 1915 Before the emergence of Hollywood and the studio system, moviemaking was something of a free-for-all, open to anyone that could afford it. In the US, that privileged group was almost exclusively white and male. Roles for minorities were usually crudely stereotypical, minor, and liable … Continue reading Red Wing and Young Deer, the First Couple of Native American Silent Film

Urban Indians – Great Cities of Native America – Happy American Indian Heritage Month

It's not that surprising, given our Hollywood history of Native Americans, that the media feel it necessary to coin a term like "Urban Indians." Since Native Americans exist in popular culture as stewards of nature who spend their lives camping under the stars and measuring times in "moons," the fact that millions of Native Americans … Continue reading Urban Indians – Great Cities of Native America – Happy American Indian Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month

NATIONAL AMERICAN INDIAN HERITAGE MONTH The first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916 in New York. Back in 1990, President George H.W. Bush named November National American Indian Heritage Month. The purpose of the observance is to highlight the roles America's aboriginal peoples have played in the country's history. It's kind of interesting. … Continue reading November is Native American Heritage Month