Red Ink is Ready to Roll

Minneapolis’ Mixed Blood Theater Produces A Brand New Take on Contemporary Native Life from April 23 to May 10

By Arigon Starr
Photo's by Ann Marsden
News From Indian Country 4-09 Arigon Starr
A giant howdy from Minnesota. Despite all of my constant traveling, this is the very first time I’ve been in Minneapolis and I’m enjoying every minute of it. No, I haven’t abandoned Los Angeles. It’s gig time again and this one is a doozy. A few years back, my playwright friend Rhiana Yazzie asked me to contribute a ten-minute play to a project she was developing with the Mixed Blood Theater. Those seeds have born fruit – and now “Red Ink” is in full production.
By Arigon Starr
News From Indian Country 1-09

Tecumseh, the legendary Shawnee leader, advocated unity among all Indian people. His dream was to create a coalition of tribes to form one unstoppable force. He worked to realize his goal by visiting as many Indian communities as he could, spreading his message with fiery speeches and traditional song and dance.

Filmmaker Conrad Brown hopes to help realize Tecumseh’s vision with a powerful new documentary, “The Shawnee Dance (Tecumseh’s Legacy).” Currently in pre-production, Brown hopes to gather as many Native nations as possible at the upcoming 95th Annual Meskwaki Indian Pow-Wow held at the Tama, Iowa, Meskwaki Nation Settlement from August 6-9, 2009.

The “Frybread Queen” is crowned in Los Angeles

We’re at Stanford Pow-Wow, third day in, we’ve made at least… at least two thousand tacos and here this one is, all dolled up with her long painted nails and big earrings and big hair, just turning it over and over in that big pan... pulls up her hand… four long nails and one short one right in the middle... Can you imagine some new-ager white guy eating an Indian taco for the first time and they bite into some long-@#$ fingernail… And says… “It’s a sign! My great-great-grandmother, Cherokee Princess Little Feather, is here with me now!” Five pounds of dough and one broken nail…

A real Indian with a real Indian name!

By Arigon Starr
News From Indian Country 9-08

What is a “Real Indian” anyway?

There are as many kinds of “Real Indians” as there are tribes.

Most folks seem to agree that a “Real Indian” knows where they’re from and who their people are. A tribal enrollment card is a good indicator, but since plenty of tribes don’t have state or federal recognition it’s not the only criteria. Are you a Pow-Wow or a Conference Indian? Perhaps you are Traditional, know your language, or work at the tribal health clinic or casino? Maybe you’re a scholar, a businessperson, a writer or play for the Boston Red Sox like Jacoby Ellsbury or like Oklahoma Sooner quarterback Sam Bradford?

Pow-Wow Days are here again!

By Arigon Starr
News From Indian Country 6-08

It’s another quintessential morning here in Los Angeles, California. Yesterday, it was hot in Hollywood - literally. A huge fire took out some of the historic buildings and sets on the Universal Studios lot, yet the show went on the same evening for the MTV Movie Awards at the Gibson Amphitheater, which is right up the hill on the same property.

Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I live here, because with all the history of the movies and television all around me, it’s hard to not feel like the star of my own TV show.

Native art to the rescue

By Arigon Starr
News from Indian Country 4-08 Who needs a Super Indian? Native Public Radio does!
1st Annual National Native Public Radio Art Auction Comes to Albuquerque April 19th. When Camille Lacapa, the Station and Audience Relations manager for “Native America Calling” and Native Voice One, the Native American Radio Service (NV1), called me about an art auction, I leapt at the chance to contribute. As many of you know, I’m working on a graphic novel called Super Indian, which is also the name of the ten part radio comedy series I wrote for the Native Radio Theater project that is currently being broadcast on Native Voice One. It’s no secret – I’m a fan of the programming on Native Voice One. I’ve written about their fantastic program “Undercurrents” and have been “The Native in the Spotlight” on “Native America Calling” AND also a “regular joe” caller. “Even though we have funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts, we have huge operating and production expenses,” revealed Susan Braine. Susan is the Chief Operating Officer for Koahnic Broadcasting, the parent organization for Native Voice One. Unlike most public radio entities, Native Voice One can’t stop everything and hold the dreaded “Public Radio Pledge Break

A song a day makes this Kickapoo play

By Arigon Starr
News from Indian Country

February was one of the most beautiful months of the year in Southern California. The weather is crisp and you can actually catch sight of the mountaintops covered in snow.

Most of the tourists had gone home – except the Hollywood stars hoping to pick up trophies at the Grammy Awards or Oscars. There were a lot of black limousines around town that week carting somebody “famous” to their stylist or wardrobe person’s house, or perhaps even to the big event.

The Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards have been handed out, so have the Producers Guild.

It’s a kind of magic

by Arigon Starr
News From Indian Country You never know who you’ll meet on the road. I performed during September at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana. Tucked amongst an amazing collection of dinosaur bones, I was pleased to represent Native America with songs, stories and a lot of humor. This was my first trip to Montana and I had to include time to visit the very famous Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Along the Grand Teton roadside is the Coulter Bay Indian Arts Museum. David T. Vernon collected hundreds of Native artifacts and they are rather tastefully displayed for the millions of visitors to enjoy.