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Indigenous on the big screen

On Thursday's ICT Newscast, we meet familiar faces from television and the big screen. Plus, the arts and empowering women

Sheri Foster Blake shares some memorable moments over her career working in Hollywood. She is an actress with many credits to her name, including the hilarious series, "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" on Netflix and TNT's "Crazy Horse," where she starred opposite of Michael Greyeyes. 

Pyet DeSpain won “Next Level Chef,” the cooking competition from award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay. She is from the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and she’s Mexican. Both cultures inspire her recipes.

Susan Masten has been a lifelong advocate for women and tribal rights. She was president of the National Congress of American Indians as well as chair and vice-chairperson of the Yurok Tribe. In 2004, Susan founded the organization Women Empowering Women for Indian Nations.

The National Endowment for the Humanities was created in 1965 and has had just 11 leaders since then. Navajo citizen Shelly Lowe is the first Native person to lead the National Endowment for the Humanities. She led Harvard University’s Native American Program and served as a National Council on the Humanities member. 

Native Voices at the Autry has new leadership, but she’s not new to the stage. DeLanna Studi chairs the SAG-AFTRA’s National Native Americans Committee. Plus, she’s a 2022 United States Artists Fellow.

An all-Indigenous 16-piece big band is making its premiere performance in May in Olympia, Washington. It’s co-directed by Delbert Anderson and is the brainchild of Julia Keefe. She’s from the Nez Perce Nation and a jazz vocalist, actor, activist, and educator.


Aliyah Chavez, Kewa Pueblo, is the anchor of the ICT newscast. On Twitter: @aliyahjchavez.

R. Vincent Moniz, Jr., NuÉta, is a producer for the ICT newscast. Have a great story you've just got to share? Pitch it to Moniz is based in a bunker in Bismarck.

Drea Yazzie, Diné, is a producer/editor for the ICT newscast. On Twitter: @quindreayazzie Yazzie is based in Phoenix.

Maxwell Montour, Pottawatomi, is a newscast editor for Indian Country Today. On Instagram: max.montour Montour is based in Phoenix.

Mary Grace Pewewardy, Hopi/Comanche/Kiowa, is an intern at Indian Country Today. On Instagram: @mgpewewardy. Pewewardy is based in Phoenix, and enjoys playing video games.

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