O’siyo. Happy New Year! To start the New Year ICTNM listed how several Natives made their mark in 2013. We’ve also listed a couple of our own favorites.
Excerpt:Indians Rule! 10 Ways Natives Made Waves in Arts and Culture in 2013 ICTNM
“Happy new year, Indian country — here’s to much success in 2014. Yet we’ll be straight with you: The successes Natives enjoyed in the arts and popular culture in 2013 will be hard to top. It was simply a great year for the descendants of Turtle Island’s original inhabitants: Native fashion (made by Natives!) was big, Native musicians struck YouTube gold, and a Native athlete emerged as a star on the court and a potential ambassador off it. Here are the ten stories we look back on fondly from 2013 — let them inspire us to rise to greater heights in 2014.”
At the 2013 Grammys With Radmilla Cody
“Just hours prior to the Grammys Pre-Telecast Radmilla Cody, a Navajo recording artist and Grammy nominee, tied her mother’s hair into a traditional Navajo bun as they dressed for music’s biggest night…At the Nokia Theater for the Pre-Telecast, the family and friends in Team Cody screamed and yelled as if they were at a basketball game on the reservation when host David Alan Grier, actor, comedian and fellow Grammy nominee, introduced Cody as a presenter. It was the first time in Grammy history a Native American had served as a presenter.
Two days after attending the Grammys, Cody learned she is a nominee for a Native American Music Award (NAMA) for Best Female Artist, Record of the Year and Best Traditional Recording.”
Patricia Michaels Makes the Final Two on Project Runway
“When all was said and done, veteran Santa Fe-based designer Patricia Michaels, Taos Pueblo, didn’t win Project Runway, despite being, arguably, the favorite going into the final night. A disappointment — but hardly the end of the world for Michaels, who has been creating her own fashions for 20 years. Win or lose, her run to the show’s finale raised her profile and prepared her for bigger things to come.”
The Umatilla Thrilla Takes Center Stage
“Indian country came together to watch the University of Louisville’s women’s basketball team, led by Umatilla sisters Shoni and Jude Schimmel, get all the way to the finals of the NCAA Tournament before falling to the University of Connecticut in a game that wasn’t reflective of the team’s excellence throughout the season. It just wasn’t the Cards’ night.”
Just a Few Months Ago, in a Galaxy Very Close to Our Own…
“The film that became a global phenomenon in 1977 went where few have gone before when it was translated into the Dine language — the 4th of July premiere of Navajo Star Wars on the Navajo Nation was a unique event in the history of Native cinema. In all, 2013 was a great year for American Indian film.”
Teaching Young Hunters…The Navajo Way
“The Navajo teach their young that there is more than the “kill”. Lessons include showing respect for the land, the animals, other hunters, and the culture of the elders. This teaching is exemplified by Navajo hunting mentor Larry Joe, an officer of the Navajo Nation Fish and Wildlife Conservation department.”
Road Tripping, Native Style
“TheChive.com, home of selfies and viral video clips, posted a video of four Natives — Antoine Edwards Jr., Butchie Eastman, Doug Thomas and Elton Wayne — singing in a car. Why? How did TheChive take an interest in a spontaneous round dance tune recorded on a road trip? We don’t know — but appreciative viewers loved “Roundys on the Road,” pushing its view count on YouTube up to several hundred of thousands.”
Tatanka and Nataanii Means: Living Tributes to Their Famous Father
“Indian country lost its most visible and outspoken advocate in 2012 when Russell Means, who was also an actor, passed on; in 2013 his sons did him proud by excelling in the field of entertainment. Tatanka Means scored big with reviewers for his performance in Tiger Eyes, and he signed on to the Cinemax series Banshee (on which Russell had appeared in one of his final acting roles). Nataanii Nez Means released his debut hip hop album 2 Worlds, which was picked as one of the best releases of 2013 by ICTMN reviewers. The album frequently makes reference to Russell, who himself experimented with spoken-word music with a 1993 album, Electric Warrior.”
There are so many, many, more Natives that presented positive role-models in 2013. We wish to thank each and every one of them and wish them continued joy and success in 2014.
“When a young person, even a gifted one, grows up without proximate living examples of what she/he may aspire to become–whether lawyer, scientist, artist, or leader in any realm–the goal remains abstract. Such models as appear in books or on the news, however inspiring or revered, are ultimately too remote to be real, let alone influential. But a role model in the flesh provides more than inspiration; his or her very existence is confirmation of possibilities one may have every reason to doubt, saying, ‘Yes, someone like me can do this.” ~Sonia Sotomayor~