This book explores how the heritage and behind-the-scenes activities of Native American actors and filmmakers helped shape their own movie images. Native artists have impacted movies for more than a century, but until recently their presence had passed largely unrecognized. From the silent era to contemporary movies, this book features leading Native American actors whose voices have reached a broad audience and are part of the larger conversation about the exploitation of underrepresented people in Hollywood.
Each chapter highlights Native actors in lead or supporting roles as well as filmmakers whose movies were financed and distributed by Hollywood studios. The text further explores how a “pan-Indian heritage” that applies to all tribes in terms of spirituality, historical trauma, and a version of ceremony and storytelling have shaped these performers’ movie identities. It will appeal to a wide range of readers, including fans of Westerns, history buffs of American popular cinema, and students and scholars of Native American studies.
- Interviews with today's Native American actors and filmmakers
- Rare photos of Native artists in film and behind the scenes
- Foreword by noted film historian and archivist Jan-Christopher Horak
- Stories of the emergence of Native women in Hollywood
- Contributions of Native American "consultants" in the movie industry
- Script revisions of early films highlighting the heritage of Native actors