Devery Jacobs has recently revealed she likes to be called ‘Indigenous’ people rather than ‘Indian’ by somebody outside their community.
During her appearance on The Hollywood Reporter’ roundtable, Devery opened up about the pressures women face about their appearance in the industry.
“I'm very much built like a Mohawk person — there was so much pressure in the industry to look a certain way. There was always this thought of, 'Oh, I need to be thin or be fit to be able to be in a Marvel movie,” said the Reservation Dogs star.
To this, Sheryl Lee Ralph replied, “It's interesting when you talk about yourself as a Native American. Through what we've seen in the old Westerns, it's always like, 'You're supposed to look like Pocahontas.' Because that's their only frame of reference for a Native American.”
The Abbot Elementary star stated, “When I saw you all at Oklahoma, I was like, 'Indians, in Oklahoma? DUH, yeah, of course. Indians in Massachusetts! Indian in Vancouver! It's the whole continent. But we always think Pocahontas.”
While correcting Sheryl, Devery asserted, “We call ourselves Indians. But for other people, I would say, ‘Indigenous’ or ‘Native American’.”
“Indigenous people. Listen, I respect that because one of the things that doesn't happen is the greater communication for people to understand and know.”
On the other hand, Devery pointed out that it's best to be as specific as possible.
“There's literally over 500 different tribes and nations across North America. There's a really beautiful book, Project 562 by Matika Wilbur, where she went to every federally recognised tribe. We're still alive and around – and the most specific you can get a Mohawk,” shared Devery.
The actress added, “You call them Indigenous. Some people like ‘First Nations’.”
“’Indian’is more like a joke that we kinda reclaimed for ourselves,” she concluded.
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