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Rutherford Falls star Jana Schmieding being interviewed by Neely Bardwell on Native Bidaské (Spotlight. (Photo/Native News Online)

Jana Schmieding (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe) plays Reagan Wells on the Peacock's popular Rutherford Falls alongside The Office actor, Ed Helms. Schmieding is a comedian and also has her own podcast, Woman of Size where she advocates for body positivity. She is very vocal on social media about social issues including the recent U.S. Supreme Court leaked decision on Roe v. Wade. 

On this past weekend’s special edition of Native Bidaské (Spotlight), Schmieding joined Native News Online’s Levi Rickert and Neely Bardwell to talk about the newly released Season 2 of Rutherford Falls and to provide viewers with an inside scoop about what to expect from the new season.  

“You can look forward to Season 2, an episode about Pretendians. We have an episode that's a Halloween episode. We have an episode about Reagan trying to get a homesite on her traditional homelands and having to navigate tribal bureaucracy,” she describes. “There's just a lot of really fun shenanigans in Season 2.”  

Schmieding also talks about how Native Americans creators and executive producers like Sterlin Harjo and Sierra Teller Ornelas have paved the way for the next generation of Native actors. 

“There have been generations of Native talent both in front of the camera and behind the camera who have been leading this charge and paving a way for my generation of writers and producers. Sterlin Harjo, the creator of Reservation Dogs, and Sierra Teller Ornelas, the creator of Rutherford Falls, have both been working their way up in this industry and working on their own projects independently.” 

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She continues, “Everybody has been, in their own way, pushing and grinding and working against the system of erasure that has happened in our industry. We are seeing breakthroughs now because Sierra and Sterlin specifically have gotten roles as executive producers. They sit at the creative helm of these TV shows, and that wields a lot of power.”

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About The Author
Neely Bardwell
Author: Neely BardwellEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Neely Bardwell (descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indian), who began as an intern with Native News Online during the summer of 2021, is a freelance writer. Bardwell is a student at Michigan State University where she is majoring in policy and minoring in Native American studies.