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Breaking Native American and Alaska Native Stereotypes

Event Date:

April 23, 2021 | 12:30 PM EDT TO 1:30 PM EDT
The indigenous peoples protect their communities’ tributaries, rich in minerals. These not only provide their livelihood, but they are also their only form of mobility in the area. Image by Luis Ángel. Colombia, undated.

A series of multimedia stories about the impacts, routes and modus operandi of the illegal...

Text: Breaking Native American and Alaska Native Stereotypes. Featuring Edilma Prada Cespedes, Tristan Ahtone, Alice Qannik Glenn, Amanda Tachine, and Leilani Raina Ganser. April 23, 2021. 12:30 PM EDT. Environment (Re)Defined. 2020 Pulitzer Center Conference.

More than four decades ago, a now-famous PSA featured a man called Iron Eyes Cody paddling up a polluted river and extolling respect for the environment. Cody, who claimed Native ancestry, was later revealed to be Italian-American. However, for many Americans, the commercial created a stereotype of Native Americans as the “first environmentalists.” Media informed by these tropes often mischaracterize Indigenous connections to land. This panel will discuss how we can tell more honest environmental stories featuring Native peoples.

This session is part of the 2021 Pulitzer Center Conference Environment (Re)Defined. A full list of the conference events can be found here. To sign up for this panel individually, click here.



teal halftone illustration of a young indigenous person


Indigenous Rights

Indigenous Rights
yellow halftone illustration of an elephant


Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change