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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Leonardo Dicaprio Recognizes 1st Nations in Golden Globe Speech by Chase Iron Eyes

Lastly I want to share this award with all the first nations people represented in this film and all the indigenous communities around the world.  It is time that we recognize your history and that we protect your indigenous lands from corporate interests and people out there to exploit them.  It is time we heard your voice and protected this planet for future generations.”

That is good but that is not our narrative.  Those are not our awards.  We are objects in that arena; the camera is directed at us not by us.  We are consistently dressed out of time and out of place for their marketability, indeed our marketability as well.  Our place in their media is as our ancestors pre-1900: feathers, leathers, plains-people the whole bit.  That’s where we fit as Reel Injuns.  We’ll keep taking those roles, that’s part of our survival and evolution.  Much could be said about the portrayal of Natives in the Revenant or the very act of celebrating other people in idolatrous fashion when Natives show more allegiance to NFL teams than their own Tribal Nations but that’s none of my business.

What good does it do us to have celebrities recognize us & why do we so fondly receive that?  Well, it does a tremendous amount of good considering the creation of pop-culture, the manufacturing of “cool” and the lot we Natives find ourselves in.  That lot aptly described as the most dis-empowered, disenfranchised lot in history.  However, it behooves us to celebrate our own creative action, our own hard work to revive our languages, the evolution of ceremony, strengthening of land-people-animal-being ecosystem connections, developing our own abilities, our own adaptations.  Don’t get caught too long in the allure of celebrity, in others.