U.S. State Department Asks Sonny Skyhawk to Be Cultural Ambassador


Sonny Skyhawk, Rosebud Sioux, an accomplished actor and activist, has been asked by the U.S. State Department to serve as a Cultural Ambassador representing Indian country around the world. His first visits will likely be to South America, the Caribbean, Canada, and Mexico.

As a Cultural Ambassador, Skyhawk will be for the most part an educator, sharing all aspects of Native American culture with people in other nations upon request. Talks could be geared toward, for example, indigenous peoples or the business communities of the countries he visits. He also aims to promote tourism and economic development by inviting people to come to visit reservations and traditional Indian lands within the borders of the United States.

Skyhawk is the founder of American Indians in Film and Television, and has spent his career trying  to improve the depiction of American Indians in media as well as the treatment of Native actors in Hollywood.

"It is an honor to serve and represent my people, and I am humbled by the privilege," Skyhawk said. "It is my hope to continue fostering lasting bonds of understanding amongst all indigenous cultures in the Americas, and to nurture our ancient Lakota belief, which is 'mitakuya oyasin' -- 'we are all related.'"

Skyhawk has appeared in 58 films and television shows, and is also author of the "Ask N NDN" feature at ICTMN.com.

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Lynn Cantu's picture
Lynn Cantu
Submitted by Lynn Cantu on
The State Department has picked a wonderful person for this job! He will represent our people well!

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
I would like to thank ICTMN.com for acknowledging this added assignment in my life. I humbly accept this responsibility as a gift from the Creator and see it as an opportunity to be a voice for our Indian people and to educate other cultures on the history, pride and the present viability of our people. I promise to do my best.

dinagw's picture
Submitted by dinagw on
It's nice that Sonny Skyhawk was "picked" to be the representative for all of NDN country, but this raises some important questions. Did all of Indian country even know the state department was looking for an Indian ambassador? Why did the state department feel it had the right to decide who represents NDN country, instead of letting NDN country decide? What makes the department think one person could represent 565 nations? Furthermore, why do they want NDN country represented? Because it makes them look good, as in "look how good we treat our Indians"? What will Skyhawk say to all those countries? Sorry, but tough questions must be asked.