October 10 is known as either Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples’ Day, depending on who you ask. Over here, however, we are definitely NOT celebrating the man who is credited with “discovering America” because let’s face it… he definitely DIDN’T discover anything. But that’s a different story for a different day.
Today, we are paying our respects to the Native American community and recognizing their contributions to history and culture. Here are some of the folks of Indigenous descent you may know!
1. Jason Momoa (Native Hawaiian and Pawnee)
It’s well known that the “Aquaman” star has been an advocate for his home island. He’s also Pawnee, by way of his grandmother. Either way, he has been a very outspoken individual when it comes to more Indigenous representation in Hollywood.
2. Jimi Hendrix (Cherokee)
The late guitar legend’s mother is Cherokee, and his surviving family members are helping to make his roots known. In 2010, the family loaned some of his personal belongings to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
3. Princess Nokia (Taíno)
The Afro-Indigenous singer/rapper spoke of her roots in a Teen Vogue interview: I am a Yoruba, Taino, Puerto Rican girl with really brown skin, full curly hair, and a spirit that does not quit. When I hear the drum and speech of my ancestors, I am compelled. I see it and I know it.”
4. Anthony Kiedis (Mohican)
The frontman for the Red Hot Chili Peppers gets his Mohican roots from his grandmother, and he mentions in a 2007 People interview that his roots partially inspired the naming of his daughter, Everly Bear.
5. Congressperson Sharice Davids (Ho-Chunk)
Davids is one of the first two Native American women to be elected to Congress, as well as the first LGBTQ+ Congressperson to represent Kansas.
6. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland (Pueblo of Laguna)
Haaland is the other history-making Native American woman elected to Congress. But since then, she made history again as the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary.
7. Sacheen Littlefeather (Apache & Yaqui)
Littlefeather is best known for declining Marlon Brando’s 1973 Oscar on his behalf, which received backlash and prompted an attempted attack by John Wayne. She finally received a public apology from The Academy just a few months before her death in October 2022.