Rez humor plays New York at ‘Spirit In The Wind

Rez humor plays New York at ‘Spirit In The Wind


The high-pressure audition didn’t appear to intimidate the performers. They gave the network guests, including some from ‘Saturday Night Live,’ a full blast of reservation, and urban Indian humor.Vanessa Shortbull, an Oglala Lakota College student and beauty pageant winner, fantasized about a Miss Rez beauty contest. ‘My talent is bingo and cutting commodity cheese.’

Don Kelly, a communications professional with Canada’s Assembly of First Nations and a veteran comic, did double duty as emcee. After Sxwithul’txw’s performance, he remarked, ‘She has one of those West Coast names ヨ It means, ‘Buy me a vowel!”

The most surprising act, however, came at the end, when Chaz Chilcote, Luiseno from Carlsbad, Calif., twitched onto the stage in a leisure suit and the accent of a fugitive from the ‘Sopranos’ television show. ‘Whadya expect?’ he said. ‘I grew up in a casino.’ His act drew one of the biggest laughs of the night from the front row where Halbritter and Oneida Gaming Commission Chairman Keller George were sitting.

‘An Indian playing an Italian,’ emcee Kelly said. ‘What a refreshing switch.’

by: Jim Adams /
Indian Country Today


Borrowing from James Ruel
James Ruel, an Ojibwe from Milwaukee, threw some of the most pointed barbs in describing his encounters with the Indian stereotype. ‘People say, ‘You’re Indian so you must be a good tracker.’ I say, ‘I’m an urban Indian, so I guess that makes me a stalker.”In a visit to Germany, he said ‘They kept saying ,’How, Chief.’ So I said back, ‘Heil, dictator.”