On Indigenous Peoples Day, so I’ll tell you about 11 famous indigenous people I admire

On Indigenous Peoples Day, so I’ll tell you about 11 famous indigenous people I admire

Published on October 18, 2022 17:42 PM by Michael Davis

In the United States, today is Indigenous Peoples Day. Due to the horrific things Christopher Columbus did to the Native Americans, the holiday has been renamed from Columbus Day. Since he never actually arrived in North America, Columbus Day is inappropriately named after him. Instead of landing in the Caribbean, as we were taught in school, he made multiple excursions to the islands that are now Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as well as Central and South America.

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I figured today would be a great day to celebrate and educate with some of my favourite Indigenous celebs from around the world:

Quannah Chasinghorse

Model and environmentalist Quannah Chasinghorse is a global superstar around the world. Though her mother is Hän Gwich'in and her father is Sicangu-Oglala Lakota, she was born and raised in Navajo land. At the 2016 Met Gala, where the subject was "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion," she wore jewellery and other accessories that paid homage to Navajo artists from the American Southwest, and the photos of her outfit quickly went popular online.

Knowing firsthand the damage that European beauty ideals inflict on young women, Quannah is committed to dismantling them. She told Allure, "I really struggled a lot growing up with my appearance." "Because of these extremely narrow and sexist views of what constitutes physical attractiveness, I never considered myself to be beautiful, desirable, or any of those things," she says. However, she now proudly embraces her Indigenous appearance.

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Taika Waititi

Writer, actor, and director Taika Waititi is a member of the Maori ethnic group. The movies he's made in Aotearoa (New Zealand), such as Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, are some of my favourites of his. However, he's perhaps best recognised for his roles in Jojo Rabbit, What We Do in the Shadows, and the Thor films. I appreciate how he can inject his brand of humour into any TV show or film.

When he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Jojo Rabbit in 2020, he was the first Mori person to do so. "This is for all the Indigenous kids around the world who want to make art, dance and tell stories. We were the first people to tell stories, and we can do well here, too. Thank you. Kia ora."

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Shina Novalinga

Shina Novalinga is a TikToker who has become famous by teaching the world about Inuit culture and traditions. She has more than 4 million followers. She is best known for the powerful videos of her and her mother throat singing, a tradition that was almost lost in Canada when Christian missionaries tried to stop it in the early 1900s.

Shina told enRoute, "There aren't many women who can throat sing, but my mother is one of them." "She learned from an expert, an older person who kept the culture alive and passed it on to younger people. And now that it's on social media, I finally feel like my voice, my mother's voice, and the voices of our people are being heard. We want to throat sing for people who weren't able to."

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Drew Afualo

Drew Afualo is famous for poking fun of chauvinist jerks and standing up for women worldwide, and he has roughly 8 million followers on the TikTok platform. In addition to that, she has this chuckle that never fails to put a smile on my face. I really admire how she doesn't take herself too seriously all the time.

Drew attributes her ability to both dishes and takes jokes to the fact that she comes from a Samoan background. "We don't hold grudges against one another; rather, we do things like a roast and make fun of each other because it's entertaining. It's nothing pointed, and it's not intended to make you feel nervous; it's simply for fun, and it's how I got good at roasting people "She explained it to Teen Vogue.

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Benjamin Bratt's

Benjamin Bratt has been in many things, like Law & Order and Coco, but I will always remember him as the handsome love interest from Miss Congeniality.

His mother was born in Peru and spoke the Quechua language. He recently told Esquire, "I feel very connected to the Indigenous culture I come from." "During the takeover of Alcatraz Island in 1969, my mother joined the American Indian movement. My mother saw Richard Oakes, a leader of the Mohawk people, on the local PBS station. He said, "Indians from every tribe, come down and help us."

Benjamin has been an activist for Indigenous causes all throughout his career. He has helped organisations like the American Indian College Fund, the American Indian Friendship House, and the United Indian Nations.

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Tia Wood

Cree and Salish TikToker Tia Wood break down European ideas of beauty and celebrate her people's music and dance. She is making an album right now, and I can't wait to hear it!

She told Complex, "I grew up in a musical family." "My mom and dad are both singers. All of my cousins, aunts, uncles, and even grandparents. It goes back a very long time. I've always known it was something I wanted to do, and I also knew I wanted to include modern music. Since I knew so much about Indigenous music, I knew it had to connect in some way."

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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson

Dwayne, "The Rock" Johnson may have started out as a WWE star, but now he's one of the best-paid actors in Hollywood. He has been in many successful movies, such as Fast & Furious movies, Jumanji movies, and Moana. And in the next superhero movie, he'll play Black Adam.

I love how he uses his Samoan background in everything he does. In Hobbs & Shaw, he did a traditional war dance called the Siva Tau. He said this in an interview on Live with Kelly and Ryan: "It is very powerful, very emotional, and full of passion. Even though you're making a movie, there's a preamble in Samoan where I call on my ancestors for strength, and it's very real. You're getting chills, and some men are crying."

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Princess Nokia

Rapper and musician Princess Nokia is known for creating music that frequently defies categorization. Her upbringing had a significant impact on her musical style. She told Teen Vogue, "Being an Afro-Indigenous woman makes up a significant portion of who I am all the way down to my bones. I make the most of this celebration more than anything else. Our nation was deeply damaged by colonisation and slavery, and now we are working to make amends for those wrongs. How is it possible to heal a wound that has been open for 500 years and has been caused by whitewashing, rape, genocide, sickness, and suffering? One prides themselves on inheriting their forefathers' good looks. The voices of our brave forebears are found in today's young people."

She said that "while I am a person and an artist who epitomises Afro-Indigenous identity," she does not want to be the spokeswoman for rediscovering identity since "my identification and others' identities can be extremely diverse." "My intersections with other identities are distinct from those of other individuals due to my privilege and the fact that I have lighter skin. I am overjoyed that the discourse around young people's rediscovery and re-establishment of their Afro Indigenous identity and culture has been initiated by the artwork that I create."

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Jason Momoa

My admiration and affection are directed toward the Native Hawaiian actor Jason Momoa. He has appeared in various interesting projects, such as Game of Thrones, Aquaman, and Dune. But the truth is that I appreciate what he does away from the camera far more.

On multiple occasions, he has participated in demonstrations in opposition to building a massive telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea, the highest mountain on the planet (from its underwater base). He created Mananalu, an aluminium water bottle business, to reduce the amount of trash that ended up in the ocean. In addition, in 2019, he delivered a statement before the United Nations demanding quick action to combat climate change.

Even though he has achieved A-list star status, he has maintained his connection to his Native Hawaiian heritage. He received a conventional tattoo on the back of his skull not too long ago (tapping tools made of wood and bone into the skin). In a post on Instagram, he expressed his gratitude by writing, "Honored to be a part of this." "A significant turning point in my life."

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Nicole Scherzinger

Nicole Scherzinger is probably best known as a member of the Pussycat Dolls, but she's also had some big hits on her own. After she won the 10th season of Dancing with the Stars, she was a guest judge on X Factor and a panellist on The Masked Singer. We recently found out that she formed One Direction while she was on X Factor. She also gave Moana's mother, Sina, a voice.

Nicole is very proud of the fact that she is Native Hawaiian. She told the newspaper, "My grandmother always sang and played the ukulele when I was growing up. My mother used to dance the hula. But we didn't have the time or money to help me go to school or learn anything. So, I believe it's a gift from God. I was shy as a child, so that was the only way I knew how to express myself. I loved music so much when I was young."

During the Architectural Digest tour of her home, I was so happy to see that she keeps things that show her heritage on her bookshelf, like her mother's 'ul'ul and an ipu (musical instruments often used in hula).

James Jones

James Jones is a traditional hoop dancer from the Tallcree First Nation. He may be better known on social media as a notorious crew. He is one of the best hoop dancers in the world and has performed everywhere, from the Olympics to powwows to the Sydney Opera House. He tells his audience about the different Indigenous dances and their meaning.

"I would have loved to have grown up with more people like me," he told Complex. "I think it's important for young people to see that someone else comes from the same place as they do. Who's been through what they've been through and is doing well and succeeding."

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