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

Module Test
The Native Vote: 2022 Survey
Pixel Test
An Update: Indian Boarding Schools
Customer Portal

12 years of Native News

This month, we celebrate our 12th year of delivering Native News to readers throughout Indian Country and beyond. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and to tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

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) is a staff reporter for Native News Online. Bardwell is also a student at Michigan State University where she is majoring in policy and minoring in Native American studies.

February 04, 2023 Native News Online Staff
On February 6, 1976, Leonard Peltier was arrested in Hinton, Alberta, Canada. Monday, February 6th will mark the 47th anniversary of his arrest.
February 05, 2023 Native News Online Staff Currents 958
WASHINGTON — In addition to articles already covered by Native News Online, here is a roundup of other news released from Washington, D.C. that impacts Indian Country this past week.
February 06, 2023 Levi Rickert Opinion 366
Opinion. Having a Native American in an elective office representing Indian Country issues is beneficial. Representation matters. Such is the case in California, a state with 109 federally recognized tribes. One elected Native, Assemblyman James C. Ramos, is making a difference.
February 05, 2023 Chuck Hoskin Jr Opinion 743
Guest Opinion. For over two decades, the opioid epidemic has plagued the Cherokee Nation Reservation. It has affected every facet of our tribe and society. Hundreds of Cherokee Nation citizens have died from overdoses. Tens of thousands more have suffered. It caused generational trauma and put the future of our nation at risk. Nearly a third of the opioids distributed in the state in recent years were shipped into Cherokee Nation, because irresponsible drug makers and distributors preyed on the rural communities across our reservation.
January 31, 2023 Native News Online Staff Sovereignty 2573
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. testified at a House Rules Committee hearing on Nov. 16, 2022, asking members of the Committee to fulfill the 1835 Treaty of New Echota which allows for the seating of a Cherokee delegate to Congress.
January 28, 2023 Native News Online Staff Sovereignty 100733
The Seneca Nation of Indians won a significant victory over the State of New York in federal Court on Thursday.
January 25, 2023 Native News Online Staff Education 1280
Northern Arizona University plans to invest $10 million in a new initiative to support Indigenous, faculty and staff.
January 24, 2023 Native News Online Staff Education 1248
The American Indian College Fund’s (College Fund) scholarship season opens on February 1.
Arts & Entertainment
February 06, 2023 Darren Thompson Arts & Entertainment 180
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. — This weekend, the Arizona Indian Festival showcased the culture and heritage of the state’s 22 federally recognized tribes to a crowd of more than 10,000.
February 02, 2023 Native News Online Staff Arts & Entertainment 1305
This week and next, there’s an abundance of storytelling, art, games and festivals happening in Indian Country.
February 06, 2023 Darren Thompson Environment 261
WASHINGTON— The United States Department of Energy (DOE) announced on Jan. 13, that it will finance $700 million to Ioneer Incorporated, the Australian company currently developing a lithium mine at Rhyolite Ridge in Nevada.
February 03, 2023 Brian Edwards Environment 1769
WASHINGTON — The Department of Interior announced Thursday that more than a dozen tribes would receive nearly nearly $580 million this year to fulfill settlements of Indian water rights claims.