I’ve met a lot of successful Native people (and also non-Native professionals) in the course of my journalistic career. Here are a few that stand out.
Jonodev who worked diligently in the field of Indian gaming as the head of the National Indian Gaming Commission in Washington D.C. He was always a true professional with a tremendous smile to give and a warm greeting to share. He is the epitome of courtesy. I always felt so honored by him whenever we spoke, met or shared some interview time. He moved on to a legal career and yet still shares a courteous message from time to time. Inasmuch as he was a professional figure, I also consider him a friend.
Wes Studi is only the biggest Native movie star in the galaxy. The fact he hasn’t been in the Marvel Universe yet is ridiculous. He has shared interviews with me on multiple occasions to include the time he was given an honorary Oscar/Academy award for his lifetime body of work. And yes, I have texted and shared holiday wishes with Wes on several occasions. Not only that, don’t forget he is in the highest grossing film of all time, Avatar.
Suzan Shown Harjo
Suzan Shown Harjo, Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee, is a true Native civil rights hero. She began the fight against the Washington Redskins before many of you dear readers, were even born. She has been at the forefront of Native issues as a voice for change. She fought against the slur of squaw, which was used in many named geographical locations and fought for the derogatory terms removal.
Mr. Las Vegas himself, is a member of the state recognized tribe in Virginia, the Powhatan Patawomeck. He is a direct descendant of Pocahontas’ daughter. And truth told, one of the kindest most gracious celebrities I have ever met. After he came to Virginia to fight for his tribe’s recognition, he invited me and my wife to visit the ranch to meet his family. I look forward to that possibility someday.
A photo collage
A few more people I’ve met are above. Some of there political histories are interesting to say the least:
Felipe Rose of the Village People
Suzan Shown Harjo
Wes Studi and Irene Bedard
Native boxer Comanche Boy
Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell
Chief Lynette Allston
Grammy Winner Bill Miller
ESPN contributor Kevin Blackistone
Senator Byron Dorgan (ret.)
Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska
Mohawk leader Mike Jock
The late Senator John McCain
Senator Mark Warner
Vincent Schilling, Akwesasne Mohawk, is the founder and editor of Native Viewpoint. With over 16 years of experience as a Native journalist and former member of the White House Press Pool. Follow Vincent on Twitter at @VinceSchilling or on any other of his social media accounts by clicking on any of the icons below.
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