Native Americans Take Over The Writers’ Room and Tell Their Own Stories

After decades of Indigenous stories told by non-Natives, two shows from this past year signal a change.

Reservation Dogs from FX on Hulu was created by and stars Native people. It follows four Indigenous teenagers growing up on a reservation in rural Oklahoma, with dreams of adventuring to California. Vincent Schilling, a Native journalist and critic for Rotten Tomatoes, calls Reservation Dogs ‘a show about Native American resilience.’

Rutherford Falls is a sitcom on NBC’s streaming platform, Peacock, which follows a conflict over a historical statue in a small town. When the show was co-created by Sierra Teller Ornelas, she became the first Native American showrunner of television comedy. Teller Ornelas told Audie Cornish this year: “There are five Native writers on staff. We had a Native director for four of the episodes, and this is really a reflection of our shared experience as Native people from nations all over the country.”

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