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Native American people fight back on United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell

Actor Adam Beach tells it like it is in Hollywood for Native Americans

On tonight’s United Shades of America, W. Kamau bell covers all angles of indigenous people’s concerns. He speaks with actor Adam Beach who shares the tricky and vexing “Hollywood machine” for work while respecting Native American traditions.

This episode sees W. Kamau Bell talk about indigenous people and how they have ‘done their part” in suffering for many centuries. He takes some taken for granted American catchphrases like “Indian giver” to task for their cultural insensitivity.

The notion of a traditional all-American ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ is laid to waste as he talks about the ETP company’s plans for the Dakota pipeline land grab through Standing Rock by Big Oil. Two of our country’s biggest issues, racism and climate change, are melding into one big protest at this North Dakota reservation.

Kamau also talks to activist Tara Houska, a tribal rights attorney and a member of Couchiching First Nation about pro sports love for abusing indigenous folks with mascot red face and racial stereotypes in sports.

He heads to Standing Rock and Pine Ridge in Bismark, North Dakota to talk to many people there about what they are fighting and gathering.

We learn in this episode that 1978 was the first time that the United States government officially allowed reservation residents to do their native traditional ceremonies and dances.

The episode tonight is an emotional ride as these protesters are worried for the planet, the water quality, and fairness in recognizing treaties written as such.

Kamau fully explores this “reawakening” of native American spirit and activism.

Of note is his interview with Tara Houska, who was part of presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders counsel.

Tara clarifies what all the various economic and cultural issues that the indigenous people are dealing with, especially in North Dakota, an economically depressed area where the casinos on the reservations aren’t raking in a lot of money despite common belief all “Indians” are raking it in at the casinos.

Tara Houska is an attorny who fights for tribal rights

Tara says: “If people aren’t viewed as real people, they get treated very badly.”

United Shades of America continues this examination of racism, classism and the fight against corporate criminals that everyone can relate to.

United Shades of America airs Sundays at 10p ET on CNN .

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
April Neale
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