Category Archives: Native Heritage Month

MTV 2014 Series: Rebel Music: Native America

“When MTV’s “Rebel Music” debuted last year, the globe-trotting documentary series searched out passionate young artists driving change in hot spots including Egypt and Afghanistan. This time around, it stays close to home with Native American activists. There’s Frank Waln, a hip-hop artist seeking to protect the environment and his heritage, and pop musician Inez Jasper, demanding attention for women’s rights and safe harbor from violence.” L. Elber Daily Herald

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The official poster artwork for the second season of the Rebel Music series was done by Shepard Fairey. Courtesy of MTV World.

The official poster artwork for the second season of the Rebel Music series was done by Shepard Fairey. Courtesy of MTV World.

Excerpt: MTV’s ‘Rebel Music’ stays close to home with Native American activists By Lynn Elber, Daily Herald

Musicians Nataanii Means, son of American Indian Movement activist Russell Means, and Mike Clifford, working together to foster hope and fight suicide among Native American youngsters, also are featured in the series, debuting at 3 p.m. Thursday on MTV’s Facebook page. 

Native American musicians and activists Mike Cliff, left, Frank Waln, Inez Jasper and Nataanii Means record music during MTV World's documentary series Rebel Music- Native America.

Native American musicians and activists Mike Cliff, left, Frank Waln, Inez Jasper and Nataanii Means record music during MTV World’s documentary series Rebel Music- Native America.

The music is my shield and my weapon, Waln, a Sioux Indian from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, says with touching determination in the film.

The episode — premiering well before season two begins next year in order to coincide with Native American Heritage Month — surprised even the executive behind it.

Hip-hop artist Frank Waln will perform in MTV World's documentary series Rebel Music- Native America. Photo- Tumblir

Hip-hop artist Frank Waln will perform in MTV World’s documentary series Rebel Music- Native America. Photo- Tumblir

I have never been so moved and inspired as I was by this production,” said Nusrat Durrani, general manager of MTV World and creator of the Rebel Music series. As soon as we started the research, we knew we have a very compelling story right here in our own backyard. The film does not shrink from touching on the harsh realities Native Americans face, including suicide and poverty rates…

Billy Luther, co-director of “Rebel Music- Native America.” (Courtesy of MTV World)

Billy Luther, co-director of “Rebel Music- Native America.” (Courtesy of MTV World)

Native American filmmaker Billy Luther, the documentary’s co-director, found the young artists to be as intrepid as they are impressive: One started making beats on an old Casio, he said, and others searched out in the community what they lacked at home.”

Nusrat Durrani,  (r.) creator of the Rebel Music” series chats with artist Shepard Faire (l.) (Courtesy of MTV World).

Nusrat Durrani, (r.) creator of the Rebel Music” series chats with artist Shepard Faire (l.) (Courtesy of MTV World).

Rebel Music: Native America will air later this week and next on channels including MTV2 and mtvU, and will be made available free for downloading or streaming on iTunes, Hulu and other platforms. It’s the first long-form MTV program to debut on Facebook, the network said.

“Here’s another way of looking at the world…The world is not only steeped in negativity and conflict…There are beautiful stories, too, stories that will inspire us and give us hope.” ~Nusrat Durrani~ General Manager of MTV World and creator of the  Rebel Music series. 2014.

Discussion Questions for this post
  1.  What is the purpose of the Rebel Music series?
  2.  Name (and discuss) two issues that plague Native American youngsters today.
  3.  Besides traditional songs, what other types of music are Native muscians known for?
  4.  Discuss some ways in which this film will bring positive change in Native communities.
  5. Identify the following people and their contributions to Native communities:
  • Billy Luther
  • Frank Waln
  • Nataanii Means
  • Mike Clifford

Celebrating Native Contributions

“November is Native American Heritage Month, or as it is commonly referred to, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people.” NCAI

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Poster for NAHM 2014

Poster for NAHM 2014

Excerpt:  Native American Heritage Month-National Congress of American Indians

“Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges. NCAI participates in the DC Native Public Relations Roundtable, a group consisting of public relations professionals from national American Indian and Alaska Native organizations and agencies in the Washington, DC area. The group meets monthly to improve communication between groups and its primary function has been to create a more cohesive campaign for Native Heritage Month and to unify the month’s schedule of events.”

For those of you in the Washington D.C. area:

National  Native American Heritage Month Ceremony in D.C.

Opening Ceremony
November 5, 2014
10 a.m.

EST Office of Personnel Management
Alan Campbell Auditorium
1900 E Steet NW, Washington, D.C.

Keynote Speaker
A. Joseph Sarcinella V, Esq., Senior Advisor & Liaison for Native American Affairs,Department of Defense

Cultural Performers
Joseph FireCrow
Black Bear Singers Drum Group

Joseph FireCrow of Black Bear Singers and Drummers

Joseph FireCrow of Black Bear Singers and Drummers

Welcoming Remarks
Katherine Archuleta
Director, Office of Personnel Management

Closing Remarks
LaDoris Harris
Director, DOE Office of Economic Impact and Diversity

Kevin K. Washburn
Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior

2014 poster for  National Native American Heritage Month

2014 poster for National Native American Heritage Month

 “Native Pride and Spirit: Yesterday, Today and Forever” ~Motto for 2014~

Discussion Questions for this post
  1. Why do we celebrate Native American Heritage Month?
  2. What do Natives do to celebrate Native American Heritage Month?
  3. On November 5, 2014, where is the Ceremony being held?
  4. Who is Joseph FireCrow?
  5. If you are Native do you celebrate Native American Heritage Month? In what ways?