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Reclaim the Narrative: Storytelling and the Native ME in Media Presentation

  • Racing Magpie 406 5th Street Rapid City, SD, 57701 United States (map)

This presentation by Taté Walker discusses the appropriation of Native American identities and cultures within mass media. Participants will look specifically at how pop culture has shaped and continues to shape the image and ideal of what it is to be Native American, and discuss how that image has been co-opted by sports teams, celebrities, musicians, fashion moguls, authors, news media and more to the detriment of Natives, especially young people. Deconstructing these stereotypes, from the savagely male warrior to the hypersexualized Indian maiden, is tantamount to moving forward, which must be done with care and respect to the 560+ living and breathing Native nations struggling to keep their communities and culture intact. This presentation will focus on what's needed to fix the problem, as well as highlight who's doing representation right.

After a short break, this presentation will be followed by an hour-long storytelling workshop (please register at separate FB event listing) during which participants will learn successful methods and techniques to tell stories through various mediums, including short video, poetry, news writing, fiction, and blogging and the outlets publishing these stories. Participants will engage in a free-write session and have an opportunity to share their writing or video pieces with the group and outlets online. Participants should bring their own storytelling equipment (pencils/pens, paper, laptops, recording equipment, etc.).

Taté Walker is Mniconjou Lakota and a citizen of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. An award-winning journalist, Taté is the editor of Native Peoples magazine, based in Phoenix, Ariz. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English-Communications from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., and her Masters of Science in Administration from the University of South Dakota. With 13 years of professional storytelling experience (journalism, fiction writing, poetry, blogging and video), Taté's mission is to provide mass audiences with fair and accurate representations of Indigenous perspectives and experiences in ways that educate, entertain and empower. For more information, visit