Presentation - No One Ever Sees Indians: Native Americans in Media

“Are you watching closely?” This presentation is loosely structured as a three-part magic act. Ernest discusses the many representations of Native Americans in media and how these representations inform audiences’ perceptions of Native peoples and issues. The acts are separated by personal anecdotes that reflect the ideology of lived experience versus the authorship of expertise of Native representation.

The presentation uses slides and images to make points about depictions. Using a Macbook, I usually need a projector and screen and audio and internet access for films clips.

The presentation is flexible, I have done this presentation in as short a time as 10-minutes, and for as long as 90-minutes. For the longer versions, I ask the staff to participate by pretending that I have a very limited time which helps punctuate the ending “act” of the presentation.

Program Topics

  • Film
  • Media Representations
  • Native American

Book this presentation by first scheduling a date with Ernest via email or phone at 847.863.8693, then completing the Road Scholars Host Organization application.


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About Road Scholar Ernest M. Whiteman III

Ernest M. Whiteman III is a Northern Arapaho filmmaker, artist, writer, and media educator. He is currently working on a feature-length, full-text, contemporary adaptation of “Hamlet” which will include a full cast of Native American actors.

Ernest is the Director of First Nations Film and Video Festival, Inc. a non-profit film festival supporting Native American directors of all skill levels and finding venues to help them express their views and screen their films. Ernest teaches an upper-level communications course, Native Americans in Media at the University of Wisconsin Parkside, and is a Teaching Artist with Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education.

Ernest continues to make films, to write, and make art. Ernest has also self-published a short stories collection “The Autobiography of Blue Woman”. “A Rez Tale” is his second completed novel, his first novel to be self-published.  He is from the Wind River Reservation and currently lives in Skokie. Not bad for a nameless Arapaho from Wyoming.

Learn More and Follow Ernest

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About Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speakers Bureau

Since 1997, our Road Scholars Speakers Bureau has invited Illinois writers, storytellers, historians, folklorists, musicians, and living history actors, among others, to share their expertise and enthusiasm with people throughout our state. It also supports local nonprofit organizations – including libraries, museums, arts councils, historical societies, civic groups, and many others – in presenting free-admission cultural programs of high quality to their communities for a modest application fee, which can be waived if your organization is experiencing financial hardship.

Our Road Scholars Speakers Bureau roster features speakers hailing from many different communities across Illinois who offer presentations on topics in history, archaeology, philosophy, literature, theater, film, music, politics, and other subjects that are thought-provoking and engaging. The breadth of these offerings reflects our conviction that the humanities can help us to examine the world in all its varied shades and discover in it the remarkable, the strange, the fantastic, the tragic, the humorous, and the beautiful.

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