Neely Bardwell (descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indian), who began as an intern with Native News Online during the summer of 2021, is a freelance writer. Bardwell is a student at Michigan State University where she is majoring in policy and minoring in Native American studies.
Native News Online.
“D’Pharoah Woon-A-Tai (Bear Smallhill), Paulina Alexis (Willie Jack), and Lane Factor (Cheese), also known as the ‘Rez Dogs’ joined the Late Night Show Starring Jimmy Fallon for an interview on Monday, August 1.
“Do people go like ‘well you’re acting like your character?’ because you kind of act like your character,” he asked.
“That’s what I love about the show because we’re all basically playing ourselves,” Paulina Alexis told him. “They wanted rez kids, they got rez kids,”.
The three actors also joined Good Morning America for an interview Monday morning.
“It’s like my dream show,” Alexis told Good Morning America host Michael Strahan. “Growing up we never had a show to truly authentically call ours, and we didn’t have a show [where] I can look at the TV and see myself. Now we’re authentically doing it in our own way.”
“How we started off both season one and two and how we ended it was doing a ceremony,” Woon-A-Tai told Strahan. “We kind of blessed the set, blessed each other, to do it right, and it’s the same way we tackled the harder scenes inside the first season. There’s a scene that’s very dark that we smudged ourselves, smudged it with sage, to cleanse all that bad energy that we got from the set before and after.”
Reservation Dogs centers around four Native kids from a reservation in Oklahoma.
“As the show goes on, they learn just how really special it is and they come to love it and not want to leave at all,” Factor told Fallon on the Tonight Show.
Reservation Dogs represents Natives and their struggles in a modern, realistic, and humorous way. The show has been the recipient of many accolades, including over 80 “best TV” lists, and was nominated for a Peabody Award, a Gotham Award, and a Golden Globe.”