Tag Archive for Native Americans

Tribal Force: America’s First All Native American Superhero Comic

SXUBk8dTUSCON, AZ – Jon Proudstar has created the first comic book to feature an all-Native American superhero team called Tribal Force.

Time spent counseling child-abuse victims and violent youth offenders often from the Pas­cua Yaqui and Tohono O’odham reser­va­tions near his Tuc­son, Ariz., home – taught Proud­star the value of cul­tural aware­ness. He didn’t learn about his own Yaqui her­itage until his mater­nal grand­mother told him when he was 5.

Tribal Force, released in 1996, was crit­i­cally well received, even mak­ing it into “Comic Art

Writer/actor/director Jon Proudstar chose his name because the X-Men's Thunderbird, aka John Proudstar, inspired him.

Writer/actor/director Jon Proudstar chose his name because the X-Men’s Thunderbird, aka John Proudstar, inspired him.

Indigène,” a pop-culture exhi­bi­tion at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the Amer­i­can Indian. Sev­eral large comic-book pub­lish­ers sought to buy the rights, but Proud­star wanted to retain con­trol of the sto­ry­line and the char­ac­ters’ unhappy, all-too-real back­sto­ries. Unfor­tu­nately, he lacked fund­ing, so the project went dark for more than a decade.

The new Tribal Force, from the small independent publisher Rising Sun Comics, continues the saga. An online preview is already available, with the print version expected in April.

LSWGzf4Proudstar states, ”I think Native children need to know who they are. They forget why we fought so hard in the beginning, and why we continue to fight: to fulfill the promise we made with our God to protect this land and take care of it. When you have that strength of knowing where you come from, the greatness your people once had, it’s like you’re Superman. You feel the power.”

Tribal Force looks at the same issues that rez kids have to deal with, says Proudstar. When I was younger, I remember thinking, “We’ll always be poor, struggling, seeing relatives being arrested.” That was kind of crushing. But I educated myself by reading a lot, and in broadening my horizons, I realized that things will change – and that you can change them.”

To find out more information and where to buy a copy click here.

Pride and Poverty in Pine Ridge

Photo by Alisande Morales-Caraballo

Photo by Alisande Morales-Caraballo

SOUTH DAKOTA – The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home to the Sioux, is the eighth largest in the United States. It is roughly the size of Connecticut yet conditions throughout resemble a third-world country. The unemployment rate hovers around 70%. Less than ten percent of children graduate from high school and life expectancy is in the high 40s, which is even lower than the average for sub-Saharan Africa.

The Lakota Sioux are a proud people with a rich history. National Geographic collaborated with the people of the reservation on the Pine Ridge Community Storytelling Project, which allowed the Oglala Lakota to tell the story of their own lives in their words.

Local organizations such as Thunder on the Beach Pow Wow in Vero Beach, FL participate in sending aide to Pine Ridge. Its president Jody Swiss, states, “conditions are atrocious.”

If you are interested in ways you can help make a difference you may contact Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service also runs a Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) that ships food to the poverty-stricken residents.

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