Posted by on Jun 24, 2013 in Featured

Why “The Lone Ranger” is Not “Just” a Movie, By Michelle Shining Elk

Why “The Lone Ranger” is Not “Just” a Movie, By Michelle Shining Elk

It keeps being said about the upcoming movie “The Lone Ranger”, “it’s just a movie,” it’s not going to “change the world.”  Well, I wish that were true and I wished this were JUST about “a movie.” But sadly, it goes deeper and farther back than many realize, or have taken the time to think about, especially when considering how we, as Indian people, are perceived by mainstream society and the perpetual time warp we are stuck in because of how we continue to be portrayed in film and television.   It’s all about framing and I advocate re-framing the negative images. Framing…what do I mean? Framing can be subtle or invisible, harmful stereotypes or perceptions that cause problems that are more overt that manifest themselves in all degrees of subtlety. How is the damage done – because all of these things are embedded in the public psyche and roll into our modern day existence and continue to be seen everywhere. We are trapped in a muddy time warp...

Read More

Posted by on Feb 18, 2013 in Featured, News

Johnny Depp & The Never Ending Hollywood Indian -Michelle Shining Elk

Johnny Depp & The Never Ending Hollywood Indian -Michelle Shining Elk

Hollywood Baggage. This day in age, we still have Hollywood baggage that perpetuates American Indian stereotypes. We are in what century? Oh right…the 21st. Guess Depp didn’t get the memo when he was preparing for his role in “The Lone Ranger.” — How we (as American Indian people) are described or portrayed, even this day in age, has a significant impact on how we are perceived, taken seriously, or respected. Thanks Johnny Depp for perpetuating a grossly erroneous stereotype of how Indians speak – then and now. You brought NOTHING to the table in so far as your usually amazing acting skills. Like teachers influence their students throughout their scholastic programs, so do people in all forms of media and entertainment who misrepresent us as American Indian people and continue to perpetuate the stereotypes as they influence their fans, readers, listeners, followers and viewers. Thus…the perpetual cycle of stereotypes and misinformation continue seemingly without end. Popular culture, which is predominantly members of the majority constantly propagate misinformation, skewed perspectives...

Read More

Posted by on Nov 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

Controversial Photo of Native Woman in a Headdress Circulates Online

By : Michelle Shining Elk I’ve been nothing but a huge supporter of both Miss Crissy and Lightning Cloud, but I have to say I’m deeply saddened and disappointed by this photo of Crystle, a Cree woman, in a fake headdress. Red Cloud commented that the photo is from a photoshoot “none of us know nothing about,” is cause for me to think that perhaps posting it was premature, or better yet…a good reason why he should enlighten us so we can make better informed thoughts and opinions. Especially, those of us who are seriously conflicted over this and are having a really, really hard time wrapping our heads around it. I get artistic expression…as an instrument of propaganda, a medium for social change and transmitter of one’s beliefs and values. However, the test with artistic expression – such as this – is whether or not mainstream society has the ability to distinguish between what is fact and what is fiction. Sadly, stereotypes about Native Americans remain the same...

Read More