Natives React to OWN's 'Our America: Life on the Rez'
Last night, Our America with Lisa Ling, a program on Oprah Winfrey's OWN network, aired "Life on the Rez," an episode devoted to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
For more information on the show, and to watch clips (and the full episode, if it is made available), visit the Our America page at Oprah.com.
As the report came relatively soon after Diane Sawyer's 20/20 show on the same topic, anticipation was high among viewers in Indian country -- would Lisa Ling strike the same dire tone as Sawyer had? Would the portrayal be accurate? Natives took to the great forum of our day -- Twitter -- to discuss the show in real time. Here are some highlights:
Alfred Walking Bull ?@awalkingbull: Prologue of #OurAmerica a little more hopeful than Diane Sawyer's piece. Let's see if the theme holds up. (Alfred Walking Bull identifies himself as Media functionary for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.)
Manda Cook ?@Manda0519: so the SueAnn Big Crow Center doesnt count as a 'youth center'? bullshit! #OurAmerica
Manda Cook ?@Manda0519: 'no casinos to bring in revenue' cause its all embezzled thats why #OurAmerica
Alfred Walking Bull ?@awalkingbull: Now here comes #WhiteClay. Gird your loins. #LifeOnTheRez #OurAmerica
Cory True ?@corytrue: Glad to see #OurAmerica started with alcohol abuse, but quickly turned to a success story. Important to show progress and positive, too! (Cory True identfies himself as Board member and supporter of Re-Member, Pine Ridge, SD.)
Mama Hil ?@rabbitchoker: Hiding our problems magnifies them. Acknowledging them helps us conquer them. ?#ouramerica (Artist Hillary Davis Kempenich is a Member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.)
shalesyaz ?@PMdubya: watching #ouramerica, a way to stop ignorance, #EDUCATE.
Heather ?@iceprincess77: Thank u for showing our proud community!!
Alfred Walking Bull ?@awalkingbull: I love kidney, BTW ?#LifeOnTheRez? ?#OurAmerica
SFeRenée ?@rcCola74: @lisaling Having a cousin, 51, who just died on Sunday from alcohol abuse on the Navajo rez, this show hits home. #ouramerica #LifeOnTheRez
William Kie ?@WilliamKie1: #OurAmerica important to note that statistics they are quoting on this show are for this reservation only...not ALL reservations (William identifies himself as Laguna Pueblo)
Alfred Walking Bull ?@awalkingbull: Minute 20 and we're still on the negative. Oh dear. #OurAmerica #LifeOnTheRez
Manda Cook ?@Manda0519: 'Teen Boys Grass' i used to run to watch that category when i was a teen!! #OurAmerica
Alfred Walking Bull ?@awalkingbull: This Misun Mills kid just busted a move that Jagger would pay money for. #LifeOnTheRez #OurAmerica
Laina ?@LainaV52: Such a gud outside look this documentary is doin on Natives frum tha Pine Ridge rez!! Im proud to b Native American!! #OurAmerica
S.whitetail ?@SassyMae80: #OurAmerica #lifeontherez the ending was the best! I love to hear our youth speak about their future!
Alfred Walking Bull ?@awalkingbull: "One thing is clear: they are tired of being part of a sad story ... " #LifeOnTheRez #OurAmerica well said!
Rachael German ?@Mrs_Cab: Watching #OurAmerica haha and that's exactly how it's like on the rez, nothing was exaggerated or made up...glad to be #native though :)
Summer John ?@sjune23: Great to see a show about Life on the Rez with a positive light instead of a negative one. We are here & proud of who we are #OurAmerica
William Kie ?@WilliamKie1: #OurAmerica it was nice...but didnt dig deep. Left a lot of questions unanswered but its only an hour long program. Lot better than Sawyers
Maggie Dunne ?@mhope13: Great to see some familiar faces including Corbin Conroy in @lisaling #pineridge #ouramerica feature. Can't wait to be back on the rez! (Maggie identifies herself as Founder & President of @Lakota_Children http://lakotakids.blogspot.com)
Annette Brown ?@ndnjd: @lisaling Thank You for NOT calling us 1st "Americans!" We were the last in 1924. #OurAmerica
Save W?y?bi Project ?@SaveWiyabi: Did you watch "Life on the Rez" tonight? We think @lisaling did a great job of showing the beauty and strength of Natives. #OurAmerica (Save Wiyabi Project is an organization "devoted to bringing awareness to the sexual/domestic violence epidemic placed upon Native American women.")
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