• Gary Corbin

Quarter Moon Spotlight: NATIVE AMERICANS Under-Represented Cultures

Updated: May 5

Isn't it time we were exposed to more novels, films, television shows, plays, etc. that open a wider view into the spirit, culture, and soul of Native Americans? If so, what would some of their stories tell? This edition will shine the Quarter Moon Spotlight on some of the many significant contributions Native Americans gave to the world.

Congresswoman Sharice Davids is also a lawyer and professional mixed martial artist educated at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Cornell Law School. When she was sworn into the 116th Congress in yr., she became the first Democrat in 10 years to represent a district in Kansas. Representative Davids is simultaneously the first of two women and openly LBGT Native American to serve in the US Congress.


Representative Davids was raised by a single mother, who served in the Army for 20 years. After graduating from Leavenworth High School, she worked her way through Johnson County Community College and the University of Missouri-Kansas City before earning a law degree from Cornell Law School.


CHRIS EYRE is an award-winning and highly acclaimed Film Director & Producer.Arguably, Chris Eyre may be considered the top Native American film Director. If not, he is certainly one of the most prolific and acclaimed. Eyre is a director and producer , known for acclaimed films like Smoke Signals, Edge of America and Skins. 


Unfortunately, a case could be made that Native American filmmakers have yet to get the support, opportunities and recognition they deserve.


Secretary Deb Haaland made history when she became the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary. She is a member of the Pueblo of Laguna and a 35th generation New Mexican. 


As a military child, she attended 13 public schools before graduating from Highland High School in Albuquerque.  At the age of 28, Haaland enrolled at the University of New Mexico (UNM) where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and later earned her J.D. from UNM Law School.


After running for New Mexico Lieutenant Governor in 2014, Secretary Haaland became the first Native American woman to be elected to lead a State Party. She is one of the first Native American women to serve in Congress. In Congress, she focused on environmental justice, climate change, missing and murdered indigenous women, and family-friendly policies.

NASA Astronaut and Navy Commander John Herrington was born in Wetumka, Oklahoma. A member of the Chickasaw tribe, he was the first Native American to walk in space.


Herrington honored his Native American heritage during that walk by carrying six eagle feathers, a braid of sweet grass, two arrowheads and the Chickasaw nation’s flag.


Commander Herrington is a life member of the Association of Naval Aviatino, University of Colorado Springs Alumni Association, a Sequoyah Fellow and a member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. 


Leslie Marmon Silko is considered one of the great masters of Native American literature and one of the key figures in the First Wave of what is knowsn as the Native American Renaissance.


In 1981 Silko was a debut recipient of the MacArthur Foundatioin Grant, the Native Writer’s Circle of the Americans Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994. She is most famous for her first novel, Ceremony.


Still widely read and studied in collees across the United States today,  Ceremony emphasizes the importance of reintegrating older traditions and knowledge into our lives - exactly what Silko herself has been doing since she was a younger girl.

Jim Thorpe was one of the first Native American superstar athletes. An All-American in football at the Carlisle Indian School, Jim Thorpe won the pentathlon and decathlon at the 1912 Olympics before his gold medals were revoked on a technicality. Thorpe played professional baseball and football, and sought an acting career after retiring from sports.


Later in life, Thorpe was elected a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963, and in 1982 his name was restored to the Olympic record books as a co-winner of the 1912 track events. Proving he still loomed large in the American consciousness, he was voted the previous century's greatest athlete in a 2000 ABC Sports poll, and finished third in another ballot conducted by the Associated Press.




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