Through a Native Lens

Through a Native Lens is a column from film critic and citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma Shea Vassar, who will dive into the nuance of cinema’s best and worst cases of Indigenous representation.

Explore the entire Through a Native Lens archive below

Revisiting The Sopranos’ Columbus Day Episode

The Sopranos is great at showing how ignorant mobsters can be. Read More

‘The Revenant’ and the Dark History of Scalping

Sure, everyone scalped. But there were those who were compensated for the bloody act and those who have to carry… Read More

“Hey, Standing Rock” and the Anti-Native Harm of ‘The New Mutants’

The film's racist dialogue is the result of lazy writing. Still, it minimizes one of the biggest cultural movements for… Read More

Chief’s Dynamic Change in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’

Nurse Ratched and R.P. McMurphy are the more famous characters, but Chief is the most important. Read More

Digging Up the Indian Burial Ground Trope

"An ancient Indian WHAT?" - Homer SImpson Read More

‘Rhymes for Young Ghouls’ and the Legacy of Residential Schools

Tough topics can be educational and empowering when handled appropriately. Read More

The Harsh Reality Behind ‘Wind River’

In order to understand 'Wind River,' the history and understanding of the modern threat to Native women must be understood… Read More

‘The Searchers’ Makes a Joke of Native Women

We take a look at the so-called comedic relief in the classic western film. Read More

John Dunbar’s Mystical Transformation in ‘Dances with Wolves’

What do John J. Dunbar and every sad white guy in romantic dramedies have in common? Read More