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Native People are coming into our own in American pop culture.

MTV has been stepping up to the plate in the acknowledgement of indigenous people in North America. Last week, MTV premiered its first episode of the new season of the show, ‘Rebel Music.’ Last year, the series made a huge impact on audiences. This season’s premiere, just shy of 20min features, Indigenous musical artists and activists from the US and Canada. Amongst the artists featured is Redbud Souix rapper, Frank Waln, First Nations singer Inez Jasper, and Souix rappers, Nataanii Means and Mike “Witko” Cliff.

The musically talented individuals are all teaming up to create a more inspired native youth. Like many in this generation believe, they feel that it is time for today’s “7th Generation” of Native people to take the torch from the elder’s and speak up about social issues in Indian country; give back to the community; bring positive feelings to indigenous people; and reach out to those who don’t know of indigenous struggles.

These “rebel” leaders are using their words and music to send teachings and motivation to carry on the culture and strength so precious to indigenous survival.

Watch the full length premiere on Facebook, or below.

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People’s Climate March

Today marked the largest march for climate change in the history of the world in New York City. The march represents the public’s desire to get global leaders involved in protecting the environment and providing information on creating a more peaceful and sustainable world economy.

More than 300, 000 people were in attendance at the climate march today, including Native rapper and activist Frank Waln, the 1491’s, and Idle No More. Thousands of other natives and Indigenous people from around the world gathered in similar areas in Manhattan to march together as Indigenous people in support of the environment. Celebrities seen with indigenous groups included Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio to provide more interest and support in the worldwide event. DiCaprio was seen holding the sign alongside Native American activist in support shutting down the Tar Sands, Keystone XL Pipeline and the respect of indigenous peoples’ treaty rights.

For some other communities within the country, the climate change protest is bringing attention to the polluted air, and water quality as well as unsafe areas for children in their area that so many politicians have neglected.

Others is to reflect on the state of the economy and its growing inequality rate forcing citizens out of their homes and into unhealthy quality of life styles.

The march was lined up to show steps and provide messages to the spectating public. The line up was as follows:

People's Climate March Line Up
People’s Climate March Line Up

Having indigenous people in the front line allows the American public to realize that Native people are still fully involved in the future of their homelands and are not invisible.

Throughout the country, and the world indigenous people who were unable to attend the summit posted photographs, articles and ideas about climate change on all forms of social media and the internet.

The final point of the summit was to show the unity of the people of world for the care of the earth and its future. Those involved and in support are looking for more leadership in all forms of government for public outreach in education, development, and prosperity in the name of the Earth’s.

The People’s Climate March’s affect will not last just this one day but will resonate for years to come and in the minds of the many UN delegates that will be gathering for a climate change discussion this week.

For Indigenous people the schedule for the rest of the summit continues at 9am with the Flood Wall Street Action, followed by the Climate Action Week: CO2lonialism and Climate Justice: An Indigenous Worldview at The Auditorium at 6:30pm at 66 West 12th Street in Manhattan. On Tuesday the Peoples Climate Justice Tribunal will be held at 10am at the Church Center for the United Nations in Midtown Manhattan. Concluding on Wednesday with a press conference at 11am at the American Indian Community House at 254 W. 29th St. 2nd Floor (8th Ave.).

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Frank Waln is doing it big!

Frank Waln
Frank Waln (Twitter)

Frank Waln, Sicangu Lakota, is the new up and coming native hip-hop artist and rapper who has been featured in the Chicago Tribune today.

Waln is 24 and attending his final year at Columbia College Chicago. Like many Native youth who struggle on and off the reservation rap and hip-hop is easily something to relate to. The way Waln has now impacted the music scene is through his incredible verses.

Listening to his music (often when I write or study), always gets me thinking on how to be better and improve my life as well as others around me through my culture. Seeing another young native peer using words and other talents to inspire the masses to speak out against American oppression is so amazing and leaves me with a huge smile on my face.

I hope to be able to get him up to the University of Maine for a performance in the near future. For those who have never heard of him or his music I recommend listening to his Sound Cloud here (my recent favorite is “White War”) and to check out the great article from the Tribune. You can also Waln on twitter, @FrankWaln.

Keep doing great things, Frank!