Movie Quiz: Native American Heritage Day

When we celebrate Thanksgiving, given the historical treatment of indigenous peoples in this country, we must acknowledge the holiday’s troubled origins. For this reason, the day after has been known as Native American Heritage Day since 2008, when George W. Bush signed it into law.

Let’s honor this day with a quiz highlighting the achievements of some of North America’s top Indigenous film actors.

1. Graham Greene is a member of the Oneida people from Ontario, Canada, but this tribe originated in New York, so we will claim them. True or false, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1990 for Dances With Wolves.

2. Two Indigenous actresses – Iñupiat Irene Bedard of Alaska and Q’orianka Kilcher, a member of the Peruvian Natives – played the legendary Native American character Pocahontas, one in Terrence Malick’s 2005 film The New World and the other as the speaking voice in the Disney animated film of the 1995 film “Pocahontas”. Which was in which?
3. Singer-songwriter and member of the Cree tribe Buffy Sainte-Marie became the first Indigenous person to win an Academy Award for co-writing Best Original Song winner from this 1982 film, which also won the first win for Best supporting actor for a black man demanded ?
4. Muscogee Nation member Will Sampson had a short film career from 1975 until his death in 1987. However, he came out of the gate hot and made his debut in a five-time Oscar-winning film. Name the 1975 movie?
5. One of the following has genuine Indigenous ancestry while the others are said to have manufactured their background. Who was the real deal: Iron Eyes Cody, veteran of films like “The Paleface” and “A Man Called Horse” but best known as the “Crying Indian” in TV PSAs in the 1970s; Sacheen Littlefeather (“The Laughing Cop”, “The Trial of Billy Jack”), who notoriously turned down the Best Actor Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando; or wrestler chief Jay Strongbow, who played himself in films like Dudley Moore’s “Micki & Maude”?
6. Amber Midthunder is a Nakota Indian and a veteran of films such as Sunshine Cleaning and Hell or High Water. Which sci-fi movie franchise launched their historical play prequel, Prey, earlier this year?
7. Veteran film veteran Gil Birmingham (“Hell or High Water,” “Wind River,” “Twilight Saga”), who claims Comanche descent, found his first fame in a music video for a 1982 hit. As a showering steelworker in Billy Joel’s “Allentown”, as a biker in John Mellencamp’s “Hurts So Good” or as a scantily clad muscle man cavorting with Diana Ross in “Muscles”?
8th. The late Blackfeet actress Misty Upham starred in which 2013 film alongside Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper?
9. Bedard, Adam Beach (Anishinaabeg) and Michael Greyeyes (Plains Cree) were directed by Chris Eyre (Cheyenne and Arapaho) in 1998’s Smoke Signals. It was based on a book by which native author that won the National Book Award?
10 Oglala Lakota activist and actor Russell Means played Chingachgook in Michael Mann’s 1992 adaptation of James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans, set in and around Lake George (including Albany). Was any of this filmed here?

REPLY

1. TRUE
2. Bedard spoke in the Oscar-winning “Pocahontas”; Kilcher starred in The New World when he was 15.
3. “An Officer and a Gentleman” (for the song “Up Where We Belong”)
4. “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest”
5. Trick Question: Despite their insistence, all three were branded as scammers. Cody was Espera Oscar di Corti, a second-generation Italian-American; Littlefeather was born Marie Louise Cruz – shortly after her death last month, her sisters said the family was of Mexican descent with no tribal ties; and Strongbow, aka Luke Joseph Scarpa, was Italian-American despite the trademark headdress and tomahawk.
6. “predator”
7. “muscles”
8th. “August: Osage County” (By the way, Osage is named after a Native American tribe)
9. Spokane-Coeur d’Alene writer Sherman Alexie (“The Lone Ranger” and “Tonto Fistfight in Heaven”)
10 No, the filming took place in North Carolina. Asheville doubled for Albany.

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