facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1
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

Oklahoma State University Receives $3.5M for Indigenous Foodways and Health Initiative.
Follow Good Safety Practices with Summer Fun
Op-Ed Guidelines
Committee on Indian Affairs to Host Astronaut Nicole Mann, 1st Native Woman in Space, on LIVE Video Call
Module Test

Native Perspective.  Native Voices.  Native News. 

We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers.  We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous-centered 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 24, 2024 Jenna Kunze
For more than a decade, nine sisters battled the South Dakota legislature for the right to sue the Catholic Church for sexual abuses they endured during the 1950s and '60s at an Indian boarding school the church operated. State lawmakers have denied these women and hundreds of other Native survivors of sexual abuses the right to sue, and some have died without receiving justice. Read part one of the story here .
March 01, 2024 Native News Online Staff Currents 581
The Zuni Youth Enrichment Project announced earlier this week that it is expanding its Connect to Land initiative this year, with support from the National Park Foundation and the 11th Hour Project, a program of the Schmidt Family Foundation. The nonprofit youth organization plans to offer multiple trips to national parks in the Southwest, which also are home to sacred ancestral sites for the Zuni people.
February 26, 2024 Levi Rickert Opinion 2640
Opinion. Since Christopher Columbus got lost and landed in what is now the modern-day Dominican Republic, non-Natives have been fascinated with Native Americans.
February 25, 2024 Chuck Hoskin Jr Opinion 4240
Guest Opinion. Cherokees are one people, and all Cherokee Nation citizens deserve equal treatment under our laws and the laws of the United States. That firm commitment to equality is clear in the Cherokee Nation Constitution, our tribal statutes, and the Executive Order on Equality that I first put forward in 2020 and expanded this year . All of these are firmly rooted in Cherokee values.
March 01, 2024 Maria Parazo Rose & Anna V. Smith,... Sovereignty 551
This story was published by Grist in partnership with High Country News. Before Jon Eagle Sr. began working for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, he was an equine therapist for over 36 years, linking horses with and providing support to children, families, and communities both on his ranch and on the road.
February 28, 2024 Elyse Wild Sovereignty 1920
The Maine legislature is once again considering a bill that would restore the sovereignty of Maine’s Indigenous tribes.
February 28, 2024 Native News Online Staff Education 800
The Chumash Fire Department recently hosted a group of young students to learn about fire preparedness at the tribe’s fire station on the Santa Ynez Reservation. The fire crew hosted 17 children from the Santa Ynez Valley Christian Academy, teaching the first graders about everything from firefighting tools to forest management.
February 24, 2024 Native News Online Staff Education 1480
The American Indian College Fund ( College Fund ) will host a free, online book and author event for the public featuring the PEN Award–winning Native American author, Mona Susan Power (Standing Rock Tribe), on March 26 from 12-1 Mountain Daylight Time. Power will discuss her new book, A Council of Dolls, with College Fund President, Cheryl Crazy Bull.
Arts & Entertainment
March 01, 2024 Chickasaw Nation Media Arts & Entertainment 757
LOS ANGELES – Oklahoma native Graham Roland (Chickasaw) is pushing the boundaries of bringing high quality entertainment to television viewers, celebrating his First American heritage and rolling with the flow of a difficult profession bringing him considerable fame.
February 27, 2024 Kaili Berg Arts & Entertainment 1929
Indigenous writer, producer, and director Erica Tremblay (Seneca-Cayuga) is making waves in the film industry with her groundbreaking directorial debut, “Fancy Dance,” which is set to receive the inaugural Jaya Award at the 14th annual Athena Film Festival this week.
February 29, 2024 Native News Online Staff Environment 594
Thirty Great Lakes region tribal leaders are pressuring President Joe Biden to speak out against the dangerous Enbridge Line 5 pipeline’s trespass on the Bad River Tribe’s land in northern Wisconsin.
February 27, 2024 Native News Online Staff Environment 1267
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today $18 million in grant funding for tribally-led clean energy projects.