What are some examples of Famous Native American Performers in the Arts?

Director Chris Eyre (left) and writer Sherman Alexie discuss a scene in Smoke Signals (1998), the first feature film written, produced, and directed by Native Americans.

Tantoo Cardinal (Metis, born 1950): One of Canada’s most celebrated actresses, Cardinal has appeared it the films Black Robe and Legends of the Fall and the television movies Lakota Woman and Tecumseh.

Graham Greene (Oneida, born 1952): A veteran of film and theater, Greene was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance as Kicking Bird in Dances with Wolves.

R. Carlos Nakai (Navajo-Ute, born 1946): In his original songs, the flutist Nakai meshes melodies played on the Native American flute with synthesized music, nature sounds, and Indian singing.

Joanne Shenandoah (Oneida, born 1960): Through her music, Shenandoah reinterprets Iroquois songs with her striking voice and unique blend of traditional and contemporary instrumentation.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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