How have things changed?
American Indians are still misrepresented in the media. For example, the movie Hostiles (2017) is set in 1892 and tells the story of Army Capt. Joseph Blocker, who reluctantly agrees to escort a dying Cheyenne war chief and his family back to their tribal land. In the film, there were a lot of misrepresentations of Indigenous people. There were common referrals of them as “Red Face” and “Redskins,” perhaps to express the dominant racism of the late nineteenth century. Throughout the movie, the Indians were seen as a threat to white people and their land. The tone delivered in the movie can be seen as dangerous, violent, and hostility towards Native Americans, which makes the film triggering to its audience. Many Indigenous celebrities have spoken out about these issues in the film and media.
As a way to counter this recurring issue, many Indigenous celebrities have spoken out about the misrepresentation of Indigenous people in the film and media. In a recent interview with the CSA Presents: Native American and Indigenous Actors Town Hall in LA, a group of Native advocates came to talk about the impact and inaccurate depictions of Indigenous people in Hollywood. They also expressed how directors are increasingly hiring Indigenous actors to portray Native characters in movies. With more indigenous peoples in control of their own visual representation, things are slowly starting to progress in Native Americans in film and media.