Twilight actor Chaske Spencer, Assiniboine and Sioux, is lending his star power to an important political cause: Raising Native participation in elections. Native Vote 2012 is a project backed by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI); taking as its mantra the slogan "Every Vote Counts," Native Vote reaches out to American Indians and Alaska Natives. "Native people cannot be left out of the process," Spencer says. "Be the Native vote. It's a message that echoes the name of his own movement, called Be the Shift.
NCAI Executive Director Jacqueline Pata told the Cherokee Phoenix that "Estimates show that over 1 million eligible Native voters are unregistered. It’s going to take people like Chaske Spencer stepping forward to help spread the word." She added that, "We hope that Indian Country and non-Native people alike are inspired, especially young people, to get more involved in civic activities such as voting.”
The post to the Native Vote site that shares Spencer's video also includes "five small things [you can do] that can each make a big difference." These include registering yourself to vote, urging friends to do the same, and volunteering to be a community coordinator for Native Vote.
Spencer had a big year in 2011, with the release of blockbuster The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part I and festival award-winner Shouting Secrets, and 2012 may shape up much the same, with much-anticipated indie Winter in the Blood in post-production and the Twilight Saga finale due in the fall.