“Ask An Indian A Question” Native Youth Address Stereotypes

dallas

Dallas Pinkham (Yakama, Southern Cheyenne, Nez Perce, Grand Ronde, and Potawatomi) from the Yakama Nation is a Seattle based actor, artist and filmmaker. He has been filmmaking for the past seven years working in a variety of genres including stop animation and documentaries. His most recent video, “Ask An Indian A Question” addresses the issue of Native stereotypes (see link below). He lives with his family and is heavily involved in his culture, traditions and his religion (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). He attended North Seattle Community College to study Communications and Theatre Arts.

“Ask An Indian A Question”

Here he talks about his reasons for wanting to make a video on Native stereotypes.

“I always wondered what it would be like to make a video about Native stereotypes. I learned what stereotypes meant and the negative impacts they have had on my community over time. As I more fully understood these negative impacts, I decided to apply my skills (in making videos) to address this issue.

It was Red Eagle Soaring (a Seattle based all Native American youth theatre group, who are also featured in the video) who asked me to come on board to make this video for their theater performance called “I AM ALIVE” which recently came out. I came to know how Natives are treated through the media and when the truth unveiled itself I knew I had to share this knowledge with others.

There are stereotypes for almost everything, Natives is one of them. There are two types of perspective (stereotypes) that I know of 1) the guilt type where they can deny the stereotype and its consequential subjects, or 2) the believer type, where it is their belief that this is how it goes and how it must be and everything else is wrong.

If I may step over some boundaries for some people I am sorry, I am only speaking on my perspective of which I know to be true. Through film, I tell my story.”

Poster for Red Eagle Soaring's I Am Alive musical

Poster for Red Eagle Soaring’s I Am Alive musical

On being stereotyped in high school

“In high school, I was only asked (my opinion) and used (in school activities) during November, because it was Native American month and my school only appreciated and made recognition of me during that time. I remember one young man who greeted me by saying “How” to me, so I told him it was disrespectful and inaccurately defective.”

On what he hopes the video will accomplish

“I don’t know honestly what this video may accomplish, but I hope that my video may come to acceptance to some, while it may stir some anger to others. But, I’m just glad that those who love it would want to know more (about real Native peoples and culture). If they do want to know more then I see no reason not to invite them to join our cultural activities, the ones that are acceptable to attend of course. If this video is worth sharing then let it be shared.”

On Future plans

“I plan on making more films, stop motion animation, documentaries, and more theater acting. I am making plans to serve a mission for my church but it’s still unclear. I work with many organizations here in Seattle and I would love to travel the world making films everywhere. I hope to be making big films with awesome people who I know are going to be awesome. This is my career choice. Thank you for reading and have a good one.”

To see more of Dallas’s videos go to his youtube channel CDSPProduction19

By: Matt Remle

5 thoughts on ““Ask An Indian A Question” Native Youth Address Stereotypes

    • I believe the author of that article was offended because he is not Lakota, Hau is a Lakota male word for hello. Some Natives are offended when they are lumped into one tribal grouping. With more than 500 tribes and 500 different languages and cultures I believe he is expressing the frustration that immigrants from Europe and else where lump all Natives into one

  1. Greetings Dallas,
    My name is Sonny Skyhawk and I am the founder of AIFT, American Indians in Film & Television, based in Pasadena, Ca. We are an advocacy organization that addresses the disparaging images and misconceptions that exist about the American Indian, in these mediums. Our goals are to inspire our people to care about their history and image, so that future generations are not affected by the narrow stereotype we find ourselves in today. Please contact me if I can be of some help in your future endeavors. I also write a column for INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY MEDIA NETWORK, that is titled ” ASK N NDN “, and that is what drew my interest in what you had to say. My contact numbers are : reelndn@charter.net and 213 364-6633 and Facebook pages also. Thanks.

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