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Vincent Schilling
Indian Country Today

Indian Country reveled in the fact the Indigenous presenters would be coming to the stage to present a category for the EMMY’s as well as represent Native inclusion on Sunday.

“Reservation Dogs” co-executive producer and director Sterlin Harjo, Seminole and Muscogee, made it to the 73rd Emmy Awards stage alongside D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai (who plays Bear Smallhill), Devery Jacobs (Elora Danan), Paulina Alexis (Willie Jack), and Lane Factor (who portrays the character Cheese).

Before the crew presented the Emmy for “Outstanding Directing in a Limited Series,” they expressed some sentiments that left the room and Indigenous people everywhere rejoicing and crying happy tears. 

"We are here on television's biggest night as creators and actors, proud to be Indigenous people working in Hollywood, representing the first people to walk upon this continent, and we are really happy to be here,” Harjo said first.

Woon-A-Tai followed: "Thankfully, networks and streamers are now — now — beginning to produce and develop shows created by and starring Indigenous people.”

Jacobs added: "It's a good start, which can lead us to the day when telling stories from underserved communities will be the norm, not the exception."

"Because, like life, TV is at its best when we all have a voice," Alexis said.

They then presented the award to Jessica Hobbs for her direction of “The War” episode in the fourth season of “The Crown.”

— Director Sterlin Harjo talks ‘Reservation Dogs’
— ‘Make it more Mato!' The music of ‘Reservation Dogs’

Hulu tweeted out their support of the appearance “The cast of @RezDogsFXonHulu absolutely served at the #Emmys tonight!”

Devery Jacobs wore a gown by Indigenous designer Lesley Hampton and earrings by IndiCity, recognized and celebrated by Vanity Fair.

Native showrunner of “Rutherford Falls,” actor Zahn McClarnon, and Sundance organizer Bird Runningwater all shared words of support on Instagram.

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“This is the dopest sh*t ever!” Ornelas wrote.

“Representing the first people to walk on this continent,” shared Runningwater.

“So proud,” wrote McClarnon.

In addition to Harjo and the cast, actor Jana Schmieding, who plays a leading role in “Rutherford Falls” and an Indian Health Service clinic employee in “Reservation Dogs,” also presented at the Creative Arts Emmys earlier this month.

Schmieding presented “Best casting for a reality show program” and made jokes regarding the difficulties of casting the hosts on a chartered ship, hosts of “The Voice” getting married and “Shark Tank” billionaires blasting off into space.

She received some gracious support from Ornelas, who posted the moment on her Instagram.

“I’m beaming with pride watching @janaunplgd looking fabulous and presenting at the Creative Arts Emmys. I keep thinking of what nerdy 9-year-old Sierra would have done with this kind of representation. It makes me teary for what we didn’t have and for what we have now, and all the more coming soon. Bravo Jana, you represent us so well. I know awards are silly and blah blah, but this sh*t matters to me, it matters deeply in ways you can’t realize until you actually get to see it.”

During the 73rd Emmy’s, “The Crown,” “Ted Lasso,” “Mare of Easttown,” and “Hacks” dominated the awards show, which was hosted by Cedric the Entertainer. Netflix rose to the top as the highest winning network with 44 total awards.

Other standouts included “The Mandalorian,” “WandaVision,” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Check the full list of Emmy winners here.

The season finale of “Reservation Dogs” was released Sept. 20 on Hulu and renewed for a second season. 

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