Native Americans in the Entertainment industry today?

Who are some influential native Americans in the entertainment industry today?

In music, acting, it doesn't matter.

The only person I've herd of was Shania Twain, and I haven't' herd anything new from her in a long time.

4 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Shania Twain isn't even native. Adam Beach is one of my fav. current actors. Along with Graham Greene.

    There is an EXCELLENT article about the role of natives in the film industry that details native's involvement as early as the 1930's. It is too long to post here but I will paste a couple of paragraphs. If you are sincerely interested in the role of native's in modern film I would recommend reading the complete article.

    here is part of the article.

    Although there is an entry for "Bugs Bunny" in the latest edition of Ephraim Katz's definitive Film Encyclopedia, there is none for Will Sampson, despite his prominent roles in more than a score of major movies including such box office hits as The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), The White Buffalo (1977), Orca (1977) and Fish Hawk (1980). Nor is there mention of Graham Greene, the fine Oneida actor who actually did win the Academy's supporting actor award for his work in Dances With Wolves, and whose accomplishments include remarkable performances in Clearcut (1991), Thunderheart (1992) and other films. Missing, too, is Gary Farmer, another Oneida, who has turned in equally exemplary efforts in Powwow Highway (1989) and Dead Man (1996), among others.

    If these virtuosos can still be slighted in this manner, what does it say for the prospects of somewhat less visible but genuinely talented native actors like Irene Bedard, Eric Schweig, Sheila Tousey, Adam Beach, Tantoo Cardinal, Evan Adams, Tina Keeper, Michael Greyeyes, Elaine Miles, Tom Jackson, Sonny Landham, Molly Cheek, Larry Littlebird, Cody Lightening, Michelle St. John and Michael Horse? I mean, really, Native North America can't rely on the cinematic establishment's posthumous acknowledgments of Chief Dan George and The Lone Ranger's Jay Silverheels forever.

    The Significance of Smoke Signals

    This is why the debut of Smoke Signals in 1998, the first release of a major motion picture directed by an Indian since Will Rogers, was such a vitally important event. Not only that, but the screenplay was also written by an Indian, adapted from a book of his short stories, and virtually the entire cast is composed of Indians, To top things off, the director, Chris Eyre, an Arapaho, teamed up with the scriptwriter, Spokane author Sherman Alexie, to co-produce the venture. Smoke Signals was thus, from top to bottom, an American Indian production, and that made it historically unprecedented.

    Critical reaction to the film was interesting, to say the least, consisting in large part of chatter concerning its limitations and technical deficiencies rather than the profound social significance of its very existence. Such responses can be met head on: Smoke Signals was not and is not great cinema. Trite in places, clichéd in others, it is much too obvious in its efforts to come off as something explicitly, even stereotypically, "Indian" at nearly every step along the way. "Enit?"

    But, with that said, so what? Smoke Signals is nonetheless a good movie in that it hangs together just fine, far better than most in that endless gush of relatively uncivilized clodhoppers aired on TNT's highly-popular "Joe Bob Briggs Drive-In Theater" every Saturday night. Chris Eyre may not (yet) have attained the level of sophistication evidenced by a Francis Ford Coppola or a Martin Scorcese in communicating ethnic content, but he's not an overindulgent twit like Michael Camino either. More importantly, he shows no signs of being a subtextual racist like Arthur Penn, or one of the more overt varieties, like John Ford and John Huston.

    p.s. from me - if you want to watch some really good movies by natives about native, watch "Dreamkeepers" & "Smoke Signals." Two of my favorites.

    Source(s): read the complete article here
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  • shania twain MAY have some native ancestry but she is not an enrolled native.

    we typically don't have any influence in hollywood which is why you see native roles going to asians. maybe the best known native actor to non natives is adam beach as he was in the movie flag of our fathers.

    ever hear of Redbone? one of the few native bands that were allowed to break into the top 40 with Come and Get Your Love and others.

    check out the links for more of us who are actors and singers.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Shania Twain is not Native. Her stepfather was.

    She took her stage name (Shania) from an Native girl she once worked with.


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  • 1 decade ago

    take a look there.

    Shania Twains STEP father was the Indian.

    She has NO blood.

    From a Traditional view, he adopted her. So in that way she's people now.

    Source(s): Skindian Enrolled Tribal Member
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