Articles/Information, Sports and Entertainment

MTV show films the life of an Indigenous woman.


Courtesy of E! News Online
Courtesy of E! News Online
Inupiat Eskimo cast member, Jackie.  Courtesy of MTV
Inupiat Eskimo cast member, Jackie.
Courtesy of MTV

The MTV Reality show, Slednecks had its debut episode on Thursday evening. In the hour and half episode, audiences were introduced to a group of friends in Wasilla, Alaska, a town made popular by Sarah Palin.

Within the first episode, the audience had seen an array of different personalities, from Sierra and Kelly a couple living in a run-down home that the two seem to provide temporary and crummy fixes to. However, the rest of the group and within a lot of the Wasilla area seem to have the same living situations. Other members of the rowdy group include, Dylan, Zeke, Trevor, “Big” Mike, Tosca, Samantha, Amber, and Hali.

The show also features a girl, Jackie, who is Inupiat Eskimo that moved to Wasilla from the Arctic Circle. She, among her friends is ostracized in a way because of her heritage and conservativeness. Mid-way through the episode her father comes to see Jackie’s birthday party ad friends. When he arrives he is at the party in a winter and hooded wolf coat, he is not only received with surprise but he is surprised with the goings on at the party. The friends were playing a drinking game that incorporated strip poker and the game quarters.

Later on in the show, Sierra tries to get Jackie to use her culture as a means of profit by convincing her to pose for the “Wild Woman of Alaska” calendar. While Jackie does go along with it she doesn’t flaunt herself in a bikini like the others did, instead she wore a fur coat she received from her family for her birthday. All whilst her peers teased her about her outfit.

In many cases most viewers probably wouldn’t have seen these scenes as offensive and in more ways than one evidence of privilege in Western and more specifically American society. Much of the indigenous people as well as their culture have become sexualized. People see it in Halloween costumes, movies, and now this “reality” show. However, the fact that Jackie stuck with her own comforts as well as standards regardless of her friends trying to convince her to do what she seems to feel as objectifying herself, sets a standard for others watching the show that are indigenous people or otherwise. In many cases it also is an eye opener as to how pressuring society is on showing skin for anyone, although in history it is very common for indigenous women in entertainment.

In the Huffington Post article, the MTV President, Stephen Friedman, is attempting to show some of the other Native American and indigenous cast members’ cultures and how they collide with others.

It will be interesting and perhaps insightful to see the rest of the series’ and how the native cast is portrayed in entertainment.

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3 thoughts on “MTV show films the life of an Indigenous woman.”

  1. And no one teased Jackie about wearing her parki either. Everyone including myself kept insisting on how beautiful Jackie looks because that is how we truly felt. Also, I’m not sure why it says “for profit” because this wasn’t a paid shoot nor have we sold any callanders. It was mearly for fun and to bring us girls closer together.

    1. I apologize, i didnt meant for it to sound that any of you were teasing or making fun of her. I meant it in the way that it can be an uncomfortable situation for anyone when others are showing more skin than you. I will watch the episode again with all of what you are saying in mind, and i will gladly make changes to the article if i see fit. I do thank you for sharing your experience especially being that you are on the show. I mean no harm or disrespect to any of you as cast members or people. However if you feel that you’d like me to explain the show more or even your role feel free to continue commenting, tweeting or even emailing me at ndnimpact@gmail.com. I truly appreciate you speaking out.

  2. Jackie was never asked to wear a bikini or show skin. This photoshoot everyone was allowed to decide what they wore. Some wore bikinis and fur. Jackie wasn’t being pushed or had any pear pressure to wear a nothing other than her parki. Thank you

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