Category Archives: Culture

Buffy Sainte-Marie’s New Film: “Carry It On”

“A new documentary celebrating the unparalleled life of Buffy Sainte-Marie kicked off the Toronto International Film Festival Thursday, with her dynamic life of music and light keeping the audience enraptured by her story, personality, wisdom and joy.” M. Morrisseau, ICT (formerly: Indian Country Today) Sept. 9, 2022

Excerpt: Buffy Sainte-Marie kicks off Toronto festival with ‘Carry It On’ Miles Morrisseau,  ICT, Sept. 9, 2022

“The film, ‘Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On,’ played its world premiere to a packed house at the Bell Lightbox Theatre on the opening day of the international film festival.

At the screening, the 81-year-old Cree legend told the audience she always wants to lift people up with her music, even after facing hard truths.

Legendary Cree musician Buffy Sainte-Marie, left, was greeted by iconic filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin after the premiere screening of a new documentary, “Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On.” They are shown with the film’s director, Madison Thomson, Ojibwe/Saulteaux and Russian/Ukrainian. (Photo by Miles Morrisseau/ICT)

‘Some of my songs, like ‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee’ or ‘Now that The Buffalo is Gone,’ they are painful,” she said. ‘They’re painful for both what happened to us and the people who are descendants of the people who did these things in the world. And when I sing a song like that, I always follow it with something super positive. ‘ I really believe that music can really hurt you, but it can also really be healing and medicinal,’ she said. ‘And so I’m always very careful to follow one of those hard-hitting songs with something like ‘Starwalker’ or ‘Carry It On,’ or ‘You Got to Run.’

Anger wells up inside as she talks about being abused as a child, being blacklisted from American radio because of pressure from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and losing the publishing royalties to her song, “Universal Soldier” as a young artist… Yet the hurt is balanced by her inimitable spirit and undeniable success on her own terms.”

For More Information for Buffy Sainte-Marie Film “Carry It On”

Some Hospitals Finally Include Native Medicine!

“The largest public hospital in Osorno [Chile] is finding new ways to incorporate Indigenous health care practices, such as having a machi help with delivery.” G. Dell’orto, ICT, August 19, 2022

Ana Maria Aucapan, left, a Mapuche machi, or spiritual guide, and Ingrid Naipallan, second left, perform Indigenous rites with a percussion instrument called a kultrun as Angela Quintana Aucapan begins her labor accompanied by her partner Cristian Fernandez Ancapan at the San Jose de Osorno Base Hospital in Osorno, Chile, Friday, Aug. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)

Excerpt:New ways to incorporate Indigenous medicine, By Giovanna Dell’orto,Associated Press, ICT, August 29, 2022

“In labor with her first child last month, Lucia Hernández Rumian danced around her hospital room while her husband played the kultrun, a ritual drum.

She turned down pain medication from the hospital’s staff to get massages and oil rubdowns instead from her cultural liaison, who had ceremonially purified the space according to Mapuche customs.’It became my own space,’ Hernández said.

The largest public hospital in the southern Chilean city of Osorno is finding new ways to incorporate these and other Indigenous health care practices. There’s a special delivery room with Native images on the walls and bed, forms for doctors to approve herbal treatments from trusted traditional healers, and protocols for ‘good dying’ mindful of spiritual beliefs…But they also restore a crucial spiritual component to health care, according to health professionals and patients at Hospital Base San José de Osorno.

Mapuche people account for one-third of Osorno’s inhabitants and eight of 10 in the adjacent province of San Juan de la Costa

‘It must be a guarantee – we take charge of the physical part, but without transgressing on the spiritual dimension,’ said Cristina Muñoz, the certified nurse-midwife who launched new delivery protocols that Indigenous pregnant women can customize and are believed to be the first in the country…To join both kinds of medicine is not easy. Many Indigenous people perceive public hospitals as yet another state institution that discriminates against their beliefs…But doctors and traditional healers say they can complement one another’s work by realizing that every expert only knows a fraction of what’s possible, especially when battling new diseases like COVID-19.”


“Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, has died at Balmoral aged 96, after reigning for 70 years.

She died peacefully on Thursday afternoon at her Scottish estate, where she had spent much of the summer.

The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change.

Her son King Charles III said the death of his beloved mother was a “moment of great sadness” for him and his family and that her loss would be “deeply felt” around the world.

He said: “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother.”  BBC

(April 21, 1926 – September 8, 2022)

Powwow Season Is Here and Going Great!

From spring to summer, Native American families travel the country to celebrate and compete in competitions wearing intricate garments assembled across generations.” T. Irvine, The New York Times, July 30, 2022

NOTE: *Photographs and Text by Tailyr Irvine, July 30, 2022

Harmony Kickingwoman showed off her favorite piece of regalia, a diamond back piece made by her father.


Siliye Pete said the love her family has poured into her regalia gives her comfort when she travels across the state to dance.


Siliye said it was “a happy accident” that her nails matched her outfit.


Excerpt: Powwow Season in Full Bloom, By Tailyr Irvine, The New York Times, July 30, 2022

“Siliye Pete, a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, wore an outfit that represented not only herself, but also her family and tribe. In addition to hair ties made by her stepmother, her otter skins were a gift from her father, her necklace was made by her mother and her bracelets came from her niece. She held a pink umbrella that matched her sparkling pink acrylic nails. The otter skins wrapped around her braids were tied with pink beaded hair ties, and a pink shawl was draped around her shoulders.

‘Everyone knows pink is my color,’ said Ms. Pete, a 24-year-old teacher. ‘My stepmom made the hair ties, and I made the rest of my outfit to match them. My nails were just a vibe for the summer.’

Thomas Addison, 14, said he has been dancing for as long as he can remember.

Ms. Pete was one of hundreds of dancers attending the 122nd annual Arlee Celebration powwow held over the Fourth of July weekend in Arlee, Mont., a town of fewer than 600 in the valley of the Flathead Reservation, which spans nearly 1.3 million acres of mountainous landscape and rolling hills.

A dragonfly from Cecilia’s very first dance outfit is now sewn onto her purse.

The celebration — a mix of dance and drum competitions, traditional ceremonies and games — serves as a space for multiple tribes to gather to compete, eat traditional foods, meet new babies, and visit with relatives and old friends…Fancy dance outfits for both men and women are known for elaborate ribbon design and bright colors that swirl while they perform footwork with increasing speed, and acrobatic steps and motions based on a double step. Fancy dancers are judged on their knowledge of the dance style and how well they match the quick footwork with the ever-changing beat of the drum…For Rachel Arlee Bowers, 80, an elder whose family the town is named after, seeing the arena full of dancers was healing.

Rachel Arlee Bowers, 80, has been beading since she was 4 years old.

‘Dancing is prayer,’ Ms. Arlee Bowers said. ‘We pray and dance for the people who can’t be there. Those that are sick and those that want to dance but can’t. People like me.’ 

Sitting in a wheelchair in her traditional buckskin dress with her small Chihuahua, Tiny, on her lap, Ms. Arlee Bowers recalled when Native Americans were not allowed to practice their religion and were persecuted for conducting tribal ceremonies. It was not until 1978, when Congress passed the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, that Native Americans were allowed to exercise their right to traditional ceremonies and celebrations.”

Category: Culture

Native Actor Wes Studi Finally Gets to Kiss Costar in Film!

“In Wes Studi’s potent and pioneering acting career, he has played vengeful warriors, dying prisoners and impassioned resistance leaders. For three decades, he has arrestingly crafted wide-ranging portraits of the Native American experience. But one thing he had never done in a movie is give someone a kiss.” J. Coyle, ICT, July 31, 2022

Famous Native actor Wes Studi


Excerpt: For once, Cherokee actor Wes Studi cast as romantic co-star, By Jake Coyle, ICT, July 31, 2022 

“In ‘A Love Song’ a tender indie drama starring another long-pigeonholed character actor, Dale Dickey,  Studi is for the first time cast as a romantic co-star. Dickey plays a woman camping by a mountain lake awaiting the visit of an old flame.

Studi, the Cherokee actor who masterfully played the defiant Huron warrior Magua in Michael Mann’s ‘The Last of the Mohicans’  and who got his first big break playing the character credited only as the toughest Pawnee in ‘Dances With Wolves’, hasn’t been limited entirely to what he calls leather and feathers roles…But recently, Studi is increasingly getting a chance to play a wider array of characters. 


Native actor Wes Studi

Along with Max Walker-Silverman’s ‘A Love Song,’ which opens in theaters Friday, he’s a recurring, funny guest star on Sterlin Harjo’s “Reservation Dogs,” the second season of which debuts Aug. 3 on Hulu… In person, Studi bears little resemblance to his fiercer screen roles. He’s more like his characters in ‘A Love Song’ and ‘Reservation Dogs.’ Amiable. Quick to laugh. Self-deprecating. A good storyteller.

Actress Dale Dickey in A Love Song

Dale Dickey, the actor of ‘Winter’s Bone’ and ‘Hell or High Water,’ grants she was a little nervous about the romantic moments that neither actor was particularly experienced in. ‘We’ve both played a lot of pretty rough people,’ she said in January during Sundance. ‘But he’s such a kind, sweet, gentle soul. It was our first screen kiss. We both laughed a lot about that. I don’t do leads in films. I do, you know, scary supporting roles that pop in and out with chainsaws and rifles and things’ Dickey says, laughing. ‘I’m like the recurring guest-star kinda thingy. So this was a big leap of faith. I was very nervous and insecure about my face being on screen that much.’

A Love Song

Studi has goals beyond what he ruefully refers to as his first ‘rom-com.’ ‘I’d like to play a lead that takes me from really good to really bad or vice versa, something that has a long arc to it,” says Studi. “I want to continue to do this until I can’t.’

Studi, who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his wife, Maura Dhu, has also seen one of his three children, son Kholan, pursue acting.”


Category: Culture, Films | Tags: ,

The Beauty and Brutality of “War Pony”

“It’s not often you see a coming-of-age story set on a Native American reservation. It’s rarer still to find a Native American story that’s told with such sensitivity as ‘War Pony’. It heads to Pine Ridge – the poorest reservation in the United States – to tell the story of Bill and Matho, two young men who are trapped by the circumstances that surround them.” R. Leston, IGN, May 24, 2022

War Pony. Photograph- Felix Culpa


Excerpt: A gut-wrenching slice of reservation life with a story of false promises and redemption. By Ryan Leston, IGN, May 24, 2022

“The twists and turns of reservation life keep both Bill and the young Matho from living up to their potential – but that’s only half the story.

On the surface, War Pony seems to be a cautionary tale, depicting the young men hustling, dealing drugs, and otherwise sinking into a life of crime. But there’s no judgment here. Instead, War Pony is a story of potential redemption, highlighting just how difficult it is to break out of these patterns.

t’s refreshing to see this tale told with a subtlety and sensitivity that goes unmatched. The filmmakers may not be Native American themselves, but War Pony is far from exploitative.

War Pony | You Tube Clip

Bill (Jojo Bapteise Whiting) is 23 years old, a two-bit hustler with a cheeky smile. But his heart is sort of in the right place – cooking up elaborate (and often ludicrous) plans to get him and his family back on their feet. His latest grasp at The American Dream is a poodle called Beast. If he can get $1000, he can buy the dog, breeding its puppies to sell for thousands. But when you’re down on your luck, it’s never quite that simple.

LaDainian Crazy Thunder & Willi White, War Pony Photographed by Jai Lennard for TheWrap

Matho (LaDainian Crazy Thunder), meanwhile, is only 12 years old. Desperately seeking his father’s approval, he’s already following the same path as Bill. And while the two don’t know each other, they have a lot more in common than they would realize.


scene from War Pony

Both are keen to distance themselves from the Native American ways practiced by those around them, with Bill driving through town blaring hip-hop music from his beat-up old car while others travel around on horseback…War Pony tells a surprisingly personal story of two young men trapped by their circumstances.

War Pony- a scene from the film

Challenging perceptions of life on the poorest Native American reservation, the film highlights the struggles they face while desperately trying to grasp at a better life…with a touch of Native American storytelling, you’re reminded that their roots might just provide them with a way out.”

Category: Culture | Tags:

Election Season is in Full Swing on the Navajo Nation!

The Following is From the website of Navajo Radmilla Cody: GRAMMY Nominee, multiple Native American Award Nominee, Indie Award Winner, NPR’s 50 Great Voices:

Radmilla Cody


“Ethel Branch For Navajo Nation President!”

Ethel Branch

“Looking forward to having our first Diné Asdzáán Navajo Nation President from Harvard University and was the former Attorney General for the Navajo Nation. Shideezhí is more than qualified to lead our Diné Nation as she has shown us what can be done at the grassroots level when she raised 12 million dollars for the Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund which provided mutual aid for families on Dinétah at the beginning of the pandemic.  Time to smash patriarchy and bring back the matriarchy to its original place of governance!”  Radmilla Cody, July 2022 


#RestoreBalance #BeTheChange #YéegoEthelBranch

ALSO From Radmilla Cody:

“Ya’at’eeh Abini! We have some new digital items for you! You can download an image and make it your profile picture to show Ethel support! Also share this post so others can do the same. Let our community know we are not afraid of change!”

Vote Ethel Branch for Navajo Nation! #Navajo #Ethelbranch2022 #Restorebeauty #EthelBranch #RestoreBalance #NavajoNation #EthelBranch2022 #diné 

Image 1: Text says: “I voted for Ethel Branch” – features Ethel facing forward smiling from the shoulders up.

Image 2: Text says: “Yéego Ethel” – Features Ethel in a teal shirt and floral scarf facing forward and smiling. The image of her is from the waist up.

Image 3:  Text says: “Ethel Nihił nilį́” (English translation – Ethel is with us) – Features Ethel in a teal shirt and floral scarf facing forward and smiling. The image of her is from the waist up.

Image 4: Text says “I stand with Ethel” – Image shows Ethel facing the left with her hair pulled back dressed traditional.

Image 5:  Text says ” Ethel bá a’díí’ał” (Englsih translation Vote for Ethel) – features Ethel facing forward smiling from the shoulders up.

Image 6:  Text says: Ethel Bił Sézį́” – Image shows Ethel facing the left with her hair pulled back dressed traditional.

Yéego Ethel Branch for Navajo Nation President!”

For more information, to make a donation or purchase t-shirts visit


#RestoreBalance #BeTheChange #YéegoEthelBranch

Category: Culture