A common man can learn anything on YouTube, but that doesn’t mean he will get accurate information from real experts. As a professor of Native American Indian and American Studies, I can say that this is especially true of YouTube’s cultural and historical context. When I research resources to share with my students to spark classroom discussions, I come across ways that have no business talking about Native culture.
Without giving these moves more recognition than they deserve, I’ll just describe them as annoying, careless, and careless. Apparently, many YouTubers think that Indians are nothing but side characters in a strange world of aliens, mysterious mysteries, and delusional ideas. Or if the content is true, Native Americans are ignored in favor of non-Native “rulers.”
Fortunately, there are ways that are managed by real people, who have reliable ties to their village, who speak the language and know a lot about the customs. You just have to know where to look. However, there is more to it than that 500 different colors within the colonial borders of the United States, and I cannot cover them all. Of course, most of them may not have a YouTube channel. That’s why I recommend the five YouTube accounts below as reliable channels that give people a reliable starting point to learn more about culture, philosophy, and cultural thought.
Spiritual entertainment is everywhere on social media. Don’t let them fool you.
In 2017, Shane Brown filmed his father Wally Brown, a Navajo chief and historian, discussing his interpretation of the eclipse rituals that year. Shane posted the video on his Facebook page; by the next day, it had spread, and hundreds of thousands of views. The father and son duo realized the need to create educational materials for young Navajo people who want to learn about their culture. So Shane created a YouTube channel Traditional Navajo Teachings posting their first video, “Wally talks about what the eclipse means to the Navajo people.” Today, the channel has 184,000 subscribers.
The Browns believed that their efforts would help to improve the language and culture, which is the result of the so-called Indian boarding schools where Native American children were forced into white American culture in the 19th and 20th centuries. They also hoped to correct the facts that had been shared about the Navajo worldview by non-Native sociologists for many years. Wally Brown does this well when discussing the Navajo corn pollen, Navajo sweat lodges, traditional Navajo weddingand star formation. In one video titled “Copy it,” elder Brown corrects misconceptions about a famous Navajo figure who plays an important role in Navajo culture. Kokopelli has for years been a mysterious figure, mistakenly called the “fertility god,” who is also used as a fashion symbol for T-shirts. , clothing, jewelry, and accessories.
Narrative videos like “Kokopelli” among many others make Navajo Traditional Teachings one of the best and most reliable sources of Navajo culture.
Bring “Indians” to any party, and everyone will miraculously have a Cherokee grandparent – but they haven’t “learned” the culture. I say the best place to start learning is from AsiaTV YouTube channel, which is part of the Emmy winning website OsiyoTV Voice of the Cherokee People. Even if you don’t have a trace of Cherokee daughter in your blood, you can still enjoy the up-close, well-produced videos that showcase Cherokee history, people, and culture. Osiyo also means “hello” in Cherokee, so it’s not a good word!
OsiyoTV has a five-person production team led by Jennifer Loren, director of the Cherokee Nation Film Office. He is also a registered citizen of the Cherokee Nation. The exhibits are sponsored by the tribe’s business office, and each section is thoroughly researched with archival documents and oral histories from cultural carriers, which is just another way of saying old people who know a lot. In one 5-minute video that has 1.6 million views, Cherokee Bowmaker Richard Fields explains how he learned to make traditional bows from his cousin. He says it is important for Cherokee bows to be made the right way, and if they don’t share that knowledge, it will be lost, just like “old words from the Cherokee language.” Speaking the language, if you feel the need to improve your second language skills, the Cherokee Nation also has free language software, so you can say more than just “hello.”
All seven seasons of OsiyoTV have been uploaded to their YouTube Channel.
Not many people know that many nations have their own accredited universities and colleges. Established already in 1970, Sinte Gleska University is one of them. To increase access to information about the Lakota, SinteGleskaUtube was created in 2008 as the school’s official YouTube channel. There are about 300 videos, but less than 12,500 subscribers. This means that people are missing the teachings of Lakota philosophy and language captured on film from the late Albert White Hat Sr., a famous leader of the Lakota tribe. Although there are other famous Lakotas on the channel, White Hat is the most famous, as it has brought nearly 40 years of teaching experience to younger generations and written many books on reading and writing in the Lakota language.
You can see him in action as he discusses Lakota philosophy and the deeper meaning of Lakota words in “Education and Health Class / Lakota Natural History.” The Sinte Gleska Tube is an invaluable aid to those who want to know more about the tribe that participated in the destruction of General Custer’s 7th Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. I should also mention that “Sinte Gleska” means “Spotted Tail.” in Lakota, meaning Chief Spotted Taila great man in Plains Wars of the 1800s. The battle is still on, however, as the Lakota language, along with many other indigenous languages, is at on the edge of extinction.
Hopefully, SinteGleskaUtube can help in the fight against ignorance and misunderstanding.
Do I recommend another Lakota-based YouTube channel? Yes, yes I am. The Lakota they take you out of Sinte Gleska’s classroom and put you directly in a room with adults like Duane Hollow Horn Bear and Marie Randall. It’s like you’re sitting in their living room as they go over information in sessions called Essential Understandings. This course focuses on Oceti Sakowin Oyatea composite group called the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota. These names are translated as “joined.” Topics covered are the meaning of life, the need for water, and even some legal issues related to problems American law. You know, the rough basics that require the extermination of Native Americans and the theft of land.
Speaking of cheaters, Hollow Horn Bear offers a good dose of storytelling Iktomi spider In most of the videos, he speaks all Lakota and English. In some areas they speak only Lakota. “Dreamer” means to organize and come together, which is a theme found in many of the Turtle Island communities. Wo Lakota’s YouTube video is one of many WoLakota Project, which was designed to help Native and non-Native teachers implement culturally responsive practices in schools. So if you’re a teacher, just curious, or want to get better, listen up.
One of the most important aspects of Indian culture is our sense of humor. So to complete the list, I want to include a YouTube channel Patrick is Navajo, where Patrick Willie shares videos on trending topics on social media. He is from – you guessed it – the Navajo tribe. Willie is also a Hoop Dancer. If you want to know more about this and see Willie do the Hoop Dance, check it out this video. The main goal of his method is “spreading humor and good thoughts. ” The most popular videos come from a group called Natives React, where Willie and his friends share their reactions to memes and videos on various social media sites.
A lot of movies deal with Native culture, and that approach can come across to non-Native viewers as a big inside joke — honestly, it is. Still, it’s a good reason to watch it, because it’s a good way to counter the “stoic Indian” mentality that’s spread in the media. An unfiltered look at Native humor, such as “A man speaks the language of the Bear and the Bear responds!“or”Why Do Native American Men Have Long Hair?“, it is equally important that it is related to other cultural values.
These videos are only a small part of the information out there, but I believe they are a good starting point for looking at what claims to share cultural knowledge, not to mention the waste that is part of many videos about Native culture. . With this information, you can be a family member who is well-informed about Eni’s areas and help to overcome misconceptions.
Or like you and Native, you can see and be inspired to reconnect with your nature.
Jimmy Lee Beason II is a member of the Osage Nation and a professor in the Department of Indigenous & American Indian Studies at Haskell Indian Nations University.