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.” 

Never miss Indian Country’s biggest stories and breaking news. Sign up to get our reporting sent straight to your inbox every weekday morning.

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.”

More Stories Like This

Customer Portal
Get the Book: ‘Visions for a Better Indian Country’
Classified Ad Order Form

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.

June 24, 2022 Darren Thompson
Today, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade , a little more than a month after a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito was leaked that forewarned the public that the court was preparing to change its course on protecting abortions. The 1973 decision had provided a constitutional right to an abortion for nearly 50 years and today’s ruling will affect millions of Americans and their access to abortion.
June 24, 2022 Native News Online Staff Currents 353
President Joe Biden today announced 13 new intended nominations for his administration, including nominee Patrice Kunesh for Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans, a program office within the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
June 20, 2022 Levi Rickert Opinion 2199
Editor's Note: This opinion was first published last year on June 19, 2021. It is being republished today as the nation celcbrate the Juneteenth fedeal holiday. Opinion. President Joe Biden signed the legislation into law on Thursday that makes Juneteenth a national holiday. Juneteenth, also called Freedom Day, celebrates June 19, 1865, the date the people of Texas were informed slavery was over.
June 19, 2022 Levi Rickert Opinion 2141
Opinion. Last year, about a week after news broke about the buried remains of 215 innocent school children at the Kamloops Industrial Residential School in Canada’s British Columbia province, I reported on a rally in my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
June 23, 2022 Jenna Kunze Sovereignty 922
Two issues were on the table during the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs’ hearing June 22: the Department of the Interior’s landmark investigative report on Indian Boarding Schools, and legislation intended to work in tandem with the department’s initiative to address trauma and bring healing to boarding-school survivors and their communities.
June 23, 2022 Jenna Kunze Sovereignty 1169
On June 18, the remains of 13-year-old Wade Ayers were set to go home to the Catawba Nation in South Carolina for the first time since he was sent to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania in 1901. But at the disinterment ceremony, U.S. Army archaeologists excavating under Wade’s headstone found remains inconsistent with those of a 13-year-old boy, which were “instead found to be that of a girl of the approximate age of 15-20.”
June 22, 2022 Neely Bardwell Education 644
John F. Tinker Foundation is offering an opportunity for students to win money through a National Essay Contest.
June 20, 2022 Neely Bardwell Education 1325
Seven students have been selected by the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) to participate in the Native American Journalism Fellowship (NAJF). Each of these students are currently enrolled in colleges and universities across the country.
Arts & Entertainment
June 23, 2022 Neely Bardwell Arts & Entertainment 884
For the second year, Native writers will receive grants and professional opportunities through the Native American Writers Accelerator Grant as part of the effort to increase Native representation in media. Each of the writers chosen will receive $10,000 and professional support to help the writers develop their skills, and pitch their projects.
June 20, 2022 Jenna Kunze Arts & Entertainment 1071
Minnesota’s first full service Indigenous restaurant, Owanmi , was named Best New Restaurant in the James Beard Awards of 2022.
June 17, 2022 Andrew Kennard Environment 1167
A $1 million federal grant will help the Comanche Nation Housing Authority (CNHA) meet home repair needs of tribal members in five Oklahoma counties.
June 11, 2022 Kelsey Turner Environment 4494
COLSTRIP, Montana—After a 10-hour shift at the coal-fired power plant in the small southeastern Montana town of Colstrip, Northern Cheyenne tribal member Jason Small drives three minutes down the road to a local taco truck. Dressed in a zip-up hoodie and jeans, he grabs a burrito and heads next door for a late-afternoon beer at the Whiskey Gulch Saloon, a nearly empty bar where the staff all know him.