Are you an “Indige-nerd”? If so, we have the place for you. “A Tribe Called Geek” is a radio show turned internet hub for Indigenous peoples to come together and geek out over essentially anything.
“A Tribe Called Geek was started because I believe that representation matters and because I wanted to create a space where we could celebrate our Indige-nerdity,” says Johnnie Jae, founder and current co-runner of the website and radio show, alongside co-runner Jackie Malstrom.
Jae is managing partner of Native Max Magazine, a contributor to Native News Online, founding board member of Not Your Mascots, and is also the manager and producer for the Success Native Style Radio Network, where she hosts shows like “A Tribe Called Geek.”
Covering all things“nerdy,” including sci-fi film, video games new and old, comic books, television series like “The Walking Dead” and even hard sciences, “A Tribe Called Geek” is intended for all “geeks at the Pow Wow,” as it states in their slogan.
“While the focus is on Indige-nerdity, I didn’t want to exclude our perspectives on mainstream geek culture and STEM developments [science , tech, engineering, mathematics].” says Jae.
“[Indige-nerds] are cosplayers, larpers, whovians, potterheads, twihards, Star Wars geeks, and trekkies or trekkers as some prefer to be called. We’re also scientists, technologists, engineers, mathematicians, musicians, writers, etc. and there’s no reason not to highlight and celebrate every aspect of who we are as Indigenous people and as human beings.”
“A Tribe Called Geek” also serves as an educating voice in the realm of nerdity. From speaking out against Disney’s Star Wars involvement in racist mascot endorsement, to reporting on the origin stories of Captain Paiute: Indigenous Defender of the Southwest with creator Theo Tso, the website focuses on creating a greater understanding of Indigenous peoples in a realm of pop culture.
“It’s important because we’re still here and we are very much a part of the contemporary and mainstream world.” Jaesays, “Yet, we are consistently misrepresented or rendered invisible by the hypervisibility of racist mascots, stereotypes and the revisionist history that continues to portray us as primitive societies. So many people don’t realize that our Indigenous knowledge plays an important role within astronomy, medicine, mathematics, engineering, agriculture, and within geek culture.”
John Trudell, Bob Dylan, Jesse Ed Davis, George Harrison at the Palomino Club, North Hollywood on 19 Feb 1987
“A Tribe Called Geek” accepts submissions from contributors and works towards collaborating with other groups geek and non-geek alike. Recently, “A Tribe Called Geek” hosts were a guest on the Black Girl Nerds podcast,
“This is really exciting because geek culture is predominantly male-oriented, so it’s good for us as women and as women of color to support each other. Especially since we share the same vision of highlighting our communities’ contributions and involvement in geek culture,” said Jae.
“We have a lot of support from our fellow Indige-nerds and I cannot thank them enough for that love and support. We also have a lot of support from our non-native geeks and nerds as well, which is just amazing. It goes to show that there is an interest and following for native created geekery.”
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