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Chaske Spencer to Testify Before Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

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Twilight Lexicon reports that Twilight mainstay Chaske Spencer will testify before Congress on Thursday, May 5. He will be addressing the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs at an oversight hearing on “Stolen Identities: The Impact of Racist Stereotypes on Indigenous People.”

“I am honored to have been given the incredible opportunity to contribute in whatever way possible to the positive shift in the portrayal of native people in the media,” Spencer said, according to a press release posted by Twilight Lexicon.

The hearing will be webcast at

The release also states that Indian sports mascots will be one of the subjects being discussed: "Research shows that Native American mascots had negative effects on Native students’ self-esteem and sense of worth and that exposure to Native American team mascots increases a person’s negative stereotyping of other races." The issue is a contentious one, as seen in the fight over the University of North Dakota's "Fighting Sioux" nickname and imagery.

Spencer will next be seen on screen reprising his role as Wolfpack leader Sam Uley in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, scheduled for a November release. He is also in the upcoming Shouting Secrets with Twilight colleague Gil Birmingham, which aims for a 2011 release date, and the projected 2012 release Winter In the Blood, co-starring fellow Native actors Gary Farmer and Julia Jones, and produced by Sherman Alexie.