Here to Help
Here to Help
Nov 14, 2023
Exploring Indigenous Representation with Sterlin Harjo
Play • 32 min

Ever wondered how a ground-breaking show like Reservation Dogs came to be? Join us as Chris sits down with the extraordinary Oklahoma-based filmmaker Sterlin Harjo, the creator of this revolutionary FX series. Sterlin offers us a glimpse into his personal experiences growing up in Oklahoma that helped shape the narrative of the show, while sharing tales of assembling an all-native team both in front of and behind the camera.

Discover how this show has been instrumental in pushing boundaries in Indigenous representation, collecting accolades including Peabody, Television Academy Honors and Independent Spirit Awards along the way. 

Reservation Dogs is a lot more than its accolades; it's a celebration of native life and communities. Sterlin unpacks the profound decision to weave Native history within the narrative, instead of simply explaining it away. We delve into the cultural significance of episodes like 'Deer Lady' in the third season, and the pride Sterlin feels in sharing this narrative with audiences who may not be aware of it. We take you behind the scenes of the casting process that discovered the incredible talents that make the main cast.

Finally, we journey through Sterlin's personal and professional life, highlighting the moments that shaped his storytelling vision. He shares how his first job, his artist father's influence, and his time in college studying film and video studies all played a part in his pursuit of filmmaking. Through Reservation Dogs, Sterlin Harjo continues to use storytelling as a powerful tool to celebrate native communities, stir conversations and transform perceptions. 

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