Washington D.C., Cleveland Guardians, Deb Holland discussed on Native America Calling
So given that this show is a 2021 wrap up, we start with looking back at the accomplishments of our first Native American secretary of the interior Deb Holland who is the head of the department interior. She has launched an investigation into the atrocities that our country's residential schools and has been driven to replace offensive place names. And she's also been trailblazing in making history as the first native cabinet secretary in our country's history. And there are some of the highlights. These are just some of the highlights in the past year from a native perspective. And while we are currently enjoying an NFL season without the former name of the Washington D.C. team, we endured the Atlanta baseball teams, fans chanting while they call the tomahawk chalk tomahawk chop during the World Series and as always there was several offensive comments and events at the political educational fronts, but there was a lot of work being done by Illuminati to change all of this. So we'll talk about all of that today and we want to hear from you what stands out for to you from this past year in terms of Indian country news. Give us a call at one 809 9 6 two 8 four 8. Now it's one 809 9 native. Now our first guest is Lachey Wesley. She is the rapid response campaign manager for Illumina's and she is the citizen of the choctaw nation of Oklahoma. And I was so deep in conversation with arcane VA news director trip that I didn't see the show note that from our producer that you weren't actually able to hear him, so I don't know how they've fixed it on there and but I hope we've been able to move on from that. And I apologize for that technical issue. So just to get started, though, with Lachey, welcome to native America calling. Hello, thank you for having me. Thank you so much. For those who don't know, can you share with us about Illuminati? Yeah, absolutely. Illuminative is a woman led native led nonprofit organization. We work in social justice and mainly focus on correcting the false narratives that are out there about native people. We make sure that native people are accurately and well represented in pop culture and in media. Thank you. And what are some of the things that you're most proud of from this last year in terms of the accomplishments of Illuminati's in media and television and beyond? Yeah, it's been an amazing year. There are so many things that we can just take time to reflect back on from the major accomplishments that have taken place in Hollywood as well as the various conversations about Native American mascots, ultimately the guardians revealing their brand new name and also some just major steps forward with schools and school districts across the country, those are the big kind of things that stick out in my mind. So can you speak more about the gains when it comes to native sports mascots? I know that I mentioned Cleveland guardians and Washington D.C. football team changed their name. So what does it mean for native representation and sports and in the national conversation? Yeah, absolutely. You know, the one thing that we all saw and you discussed this earlier is the Atlanta Braves playing in the World Series this year. And I think all of us were upset to see the tomahawk chop, see the native imagery that the team is still using. The fact that that happened on broadcast TV and the middle of the World Series, a huge game in sports world that gets international attention. That was very upsetting to see. But I think what we really noticed is kind of a shift in Americans understandings of the mask issue of the mascot issue. We saw journalists and sports reporters. They were really holding the MLB in the franchise accountable for continuing to use the tomahawk top. I think a lot of people agree now that this is unacceptable. And I think that that bad press had a real big impact on the braves. And I think ultimately, they will see that this is this change that needs to take place. I think there has been big successes this year with the Cleveland guardians announcing their new name, branding was very exciting, kind of demonstrated how their franchise can move forward in a positive and exciting way. So as someone that doesn't work with Illuminati's closely all that I see going on that is making the changes as these amazing graphics on your Instagram and these social media campaigns that you execute so well. So I know there's so much that's happening behind the scenes. Can you share with our listeners, some of the other ways beyond what I just described that illuminated helps move the needle in terms of making sure that in sports, native people are better represented and slurs are not used. Yeah, I think a lot of the work that we do is education. And I think people are learning more and more about the psychological research that is out there that shows that mascots actually harm young people. And I think that's the biggest thing that we do a lot behind the scenes is educate people about that research. Shows that students face discrimination as a result of these native mask gods at lower self esteem, increases rate of depression. Very serious and harmful consequences for our young people. So I think we do a lot of work to educate people about that. And we do a lot of loud work, which is calling out these companies and these franchises that continue to hold these mascots and that have native imagery. Our producer says the last time you're on the show, you were talking about Rick santorum's comments about America being built from nothing. What has developed on that issue? Well, it's very exciting that Rick santorum was let go, you know, that is no longer on CNN. I think we had a very good conversation and support from the native community and many different organizations and leaders. Talking about how news organizations, CNN needs to do a better job of educating staff about native issues about Indian law and make sure that native people are represented in the newsroom. Speaking of representation in the newsroom, what can you speak to the progress in Hollywood and media news when it comes to native representation? Yeah. I think that's where it's been in a really exciting and thrilling year, you know, there were two amazing shows that premiered this year, rather fall premiered in April on peacock TV. It was created by a Navajo woman Sierra teller or nellis is starred Janish meeting also Michael grey eyes. They're in the process of filming season two. So it's obviously in a success that's moving on to season two. And most recently, reservation dogs, which premiered on in August, it airs on FX on Hulu. It had an all native writers room. It has renewed for a second season. It's even received a word nominations from the Golden Globes, critics, choice, and it's a huge success with critics, which is really exciting to see, and I think these two shows are very different. And I think that can show kind of the depth of stories that are out there. And I think it is so important that native people are both in front and behind the camera and also.