In The Know by Yahoo celebrated Native American Heritage Month by hosting an interview with Amber Midthunder, star of the hit movie ‘Prey’, in front of a live audience (Full Panel)

In The Know’s Laura Clark interviewed actress Amber Midthunder about her career, upbringing and culture

Video Transcript

- (SINGING) Nothing the matter with the--

LAURA CLARK: All right. Thank you, OCO. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

Hi, everyone. I'm Laura Clark. Welcome to Native Changemakers. I'm an enrolled citizen of the Muscovy and Creek tribes, Cherokee tribes. And I'm so excited to be here. Welcome to our Native Changemakers event hosted by "In the Know" by Yahoo

I will be your moderator tonight. In honor of Native American Heritage month, we have a very special guest here tonight to discuss not only her superstar making turn in "Prey" as the first Native female action hero, but also how she honors her cultural heritage through her work as a native actress.

We're so thrilled to be here with Amber Midthunder, an enrolled citizen--

[CHEERING]

An enrolled citizen of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux tribes. To celebrate Native culture and empower Indigenous people for generations to come. Welcome, Amber Midthunder.

[CHEERING]

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: Thank you for having me.

LAURA CLARK: Amazing. OK. Well, let's start with "Prey" because that was pretty amazing. What does it mean to you to have been the native female lead on "Prey"? The first Native female action hero on a film that served as Hulu's biggest premiere ever.

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: That's pretty cool when you say it like that. I mean, I'm really proud of it. I think that there are not words for how grateful I am and how excited that journey has been. You know, we didn't know that people were going to receive it as well as they did. Obviously, my greatest concern was how it would go culturally. That was the biggest pressure that I felt every day coming to work. So just kind of making sure that it was something that we as a people could be proud of or that, you know, at least didn't represent us poorly was really my concern.

And then you're going beyond that and having-- I mean, obviously, there's also a lot of intention to make it like good as a creative piece or good art, but then to have it be received well by all kinds of different audiences and especially by Indigenous people has just been like the greatest thing I could have hoped for.

LAURA CLARK: It was amazing. You've been cheered on by Native people beyond. I don't know if you heard the horn honking outside, but New York is cheering for you too.

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: It's definitely for us.

LAURA CLARK: That's right. Definitely for us. And as a young Native woman, when did you first see yourself represented on screen.

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: I think that that's now, only just happening now. I mean, I feel like, you know, Native representation in some way or another has always been an idea, but it's not always been executed well. And I think that we're only now in the first generation of opportunity for Native filmmakers to cast Native actors, and to have Native writers, and to have Native producers, and to be creating content that we're in charge of that we're proud of.

So it's exciting to have shows like "Reservation Dogs" and to be able to make movies like "Prey", and collaborate with other people still. And have big studios and big networks behind us, and believe in us is really important. And so I'm excited for what we're doing now, and what is to come.

LAURA CLARK: Yeah. That's interesting because it's not just in front of the camera, but also behind the camera, and executives making the decisions for these movies too.

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: Yeah. I mean, it's exciting. And it's a great vote of confidence, you know. I think that I'm a huge believer in creating opportunity and creating space for Indigenous creatives, but that doesn't mean taking it away from anybody else. It is a collaboration and everybody has something to offer. And for us to be able to have the opportunity now to show what we've always had is really special.

LAURA CLARK: Absolutely. And, you know, there are a lot of Native kids out there who saw "Prey", and you've been in a lot of other stuff too, "Legion", "The Ice Road", what would you want to tell Native kids who see you and are like, she looks like me?

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: I think that, you know, for Native youth, it's important to-- we didn't get to grow up looking at people who look like us. Right? So being able to have that I think just does something for you like inside of your soul. And I think it unlocks a certain type of permission or it gives you just the concept of feeling seen and being visible is really powerful.

And, you know, it's not like-- I don't make laws or save lives, but I do think that oftentimes it's also like how we're represented to people who are not close to us at all. I mean, my parents were traveling overseas and they would see my dad and all they knew about him was like, oh, you guys like throw tomahawks and listen to the ground. And, you know, that's not how it is now. But so I think it's powerful for us as a people, but especially Indigenous youth, to have representation that we can be proud of.

And I think more than anything I would say to Native youth that shows like "Prey", and shows like "Reservation Dogs", and all the ones that are out there are just the very beginning of an endless possibility that whatever they want to do is actually achievable. That whatever dream they have can be a reality and is real. It's not just something that you hope for and then you have to accept less. It is truly actually something that they can go out and do.

Native kids are limitless just as much if not more than anybody else. And it's so important for them to know how valuable they are. And what they have to offer. And that the world needs it and that it matters.

LAURA CLARK: I love that.

[APPLAUSE]

Yes. That's amazing. I love those words. I'm getting emotional just hearing you.

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: I'm glad that made sense. I was talking for a long time.

LAURA CLARK: No, it was amazing and true. Very true. Maybe you should be making laws. Speaking of laws, we had Election Day yesterday. People are going to the Supreme Court today talking about preserving ICWA, the Indian Child Welfare Act. So there are lots of issues going around in Indian country. What are some of the issues that are super important to you as a Native woman?

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: I mean, there's so many. There's truly endless. But I mean, obviously, like MMIW, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women is a huge epidemic that has been and continues to be an issue for our people. We go missing more than any other minority. And we're more likely to get attacked and murdered. And our cases go, you know, unreported or uninvestigated. And there's no justice for families. There's no peace. There's no resolution.

Obviously, ICWA is wildly important and that's a huge part of us not just the children, but also as tribes working as a sovereign nation. You know, it's not just about kids being with Native families. It's about the tribes being able to protect the kids and make sure that they have good homes to go to. And that they can be an active part of where their children are going and how they're being raised. Because obviously when you have Native kids, there's a lot more to consider than maybe in some other cases. We have a different history and we have culture and proximity and we're connected to the land that we stand on. So those things matter.

And then, you know, that's related to the every child matters issue in Canada. The residential schools, the graves being uncovered, and we call them boarding schools here in the United States has obviously always been something that we're aware of in our homes and in our families. But it's just starting to be discovered on a large scale. And it's more of our history being uncovered and talked about. You know, I think so much of our history is just silenced or it's not taught on a large scale. And it's only starting to be discovered now. And I mean, those are just a few issues of so many.

LAURA CLARK: Yeah, you're right. There are so many. Thank you for that. Yeah, that's really insightful. So kind of switching gears and talking about as an actress and your beginnings as an actress, so your dad is an actor, David Midthunder. I love him on "Dark Ones". If you guys haven't seen it, check him out. And your mom is a casting director. Did you from an early age that you wanted to get into the entertainment industry?

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: No. I had no idea I feel like what my parents did when I was a kid. I said, no. Like I would go to work with them and I'd be like, why are you dressed funny and everyone else is dressed normal? Or I would be-- I had a pink Disney Princess tent that I got for my eighth birthday that lived in my mom's office. And so I would listen to auditions.

But I had no idea what that was, you know what I mean? Like I just thought that like, oh, that's crazy. People come in here and just talk all the time. But no, I mean, I think that like it's kind of obvious like I think that I was just a kid that had a passion. Like I was always playing pretend, and making up stories, and I would make my mom record movies for me. Like when my friends would come over, we would always make up a story and make her record it. And sometimes they'd be like three hours long. Just like a very good mom.

And she would record our movies for us. And I think it was just kind of obvious that was what I liked to do, but in no way was it ever like suggested to me or put on me. I think if anything they probably didn't want me to do it. But here I am. But, you know, I think that I just always felt a calling. And then once I realized that it was like, you know, a job. And then like you could actually do that and pay your rent. I was like, that sounds cool.

And I think at that point I just didn't consider failure. Like I think I just knew how much I felt called to do that and how I felt about it. And just felt like I made the decision that just nothing could stop me.

LAURA CLARK: That's amazing. I love that. Don't consider failure. I love that. And what a good mom. Oh my gosh, we're going to have--

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: She's a really good mom.

LAURA CLARK: We're going to have to see those three hour Amber Midthunder movies.

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: They are not very good.

LAURA CLARK: Awesome. Well, what was your parent's reaction when you told them I definitely want to be an actress? What did they say?

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: At that point, they were very supportive. I mean, my parents would have supported me whatever I did. You know, which I'm very fortunate to say that. They were very supportive just because I was serious about it. You know, I was not unsure, I was not wishy-washy. Like I absolutely with all of my heart and soul knew what I wanted to do and how hard I wanted to commit.

And so I'm sure that they probably also realized that they couldn't stop me. I've never talked to them about it, but in reflection I feel like they probably knew that. So no, I think if anything they were just really supportive. And they I think they were also realistic with me and they wanted to protect me. But they were really kind about it.

And they're still very supportive. More in the sense of just like as people. You know, I'm really fortunate like my parents are really good people and they're really smart people. And so no matter what I'd be doing, I think that they care more that I have a good work ethic and that I'm a good person than that I'm like successful by any means. And I think that that's been really helpful throughout all of my life.

LAURA CLARK: Oh, that's amazing. I love that. Good job. Good job, parents. Good job, Midthunders.

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: Good job, parents.

LAURA CLARK: Amazing. So dubbing "Prey" into the Comanche language showed audiences the value of keeping tribal languages alive. How have you connected with your tribal language?

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: Oh, I grew up with it in my household. You know, my dad is a fluent speaker of all three of our languages, Lakota, and Nakota, and Dakota. I mostly grew up with Lakota in my house. I didn't grow up in an area with a lot of Lakota people. I grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico where there's a lot of like Navajo people, and Pueblo people, and not Lakota people.

So it's mostly just between me and my dad, and our family, and like the family that we would call home back to. But that was like-- I mean, it was always just something that like made sense and it was a part of my household growing up. And you know, hearing it in ceremonies or talking, like I said, talking to my relatives and stuff like that.

And I definitely don't speak as much of it as I wish I did, but I'm always trying to learn and connect with it. Because that's a huge part of keeping-- language preservation is like one of the most important things for us to be doing is protecting our languages. You know, we have always been a people of oral history and of like oral relation to each other. So you know, speaking and telling stories and stuff like that is so important.

And that's why I'm so proud of like that we were able to do that we were able to dub the entire film in Comanche. We considered shooting it in Comanche, like entirely in the first place and then kind of channeled that into like shooting it in English. And then having, you know, inserting as much Comanche as possible that made sense.

And then they came and said to us, well, we want to do a full dub. And like do you guys want to do your voices? And we were like, of course, we do. And that was just like so special to be able to work with the Comanche people and the Comanche language department being a part of their language preservation. Like I am obviously not Comanche, but I come from a plains people and I know what that means and I know how special that is.

So, you know, it was really cool. And it also creatively was an interesting challenge because it changed the movie. You know, like it changed jokes and relationships. And even just like doing it a second time and kind of like going back through what we had already shot was also just really interesting for me as an actor. So there are a lot of things that I'm proud of about it.

LAURA CLARK: Oh, that's really cool. Like when you say a change, like the translation changed the jokes or you had to edit stuff out?

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: Yeah, like when you watch it in English, and then you watch it in Comanche, or vise versa, or whatever there's like certain things that play-- it just changes the dynamics a little bit. It changes-- like there are certain things that are jokes that play in English that come off serious in Comanche. And then there's some jokes in Comanche that just stayed in Comanche. So like they didn't have the translation. So you don't know unless you speak Comanche.

But then when there's the dubbed version with the captions like you get it. So it changes. There's a different dynamic to the sense of humor, which obviously is a huge part of our culture too. So there's a different dynamic to just the sense of humor, which means there's a different dynamic to the relationship, which, you know, it doesn't change the entire movie but it gives it like a different-- it is definitely like a different version of the film.

LAURA CLARK: That's amazing. I love that. So just in a broader sense of film, what would you like to see in the future for Native people in film.

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: Limitless opportunity. I think having Indigenous people in whatever space we wish to occupy is kind of to me is my wish for the future. I feel like, you know, we're so valuable honestly. Like where we come from and our history, and our culture, and the way that we move about life we just have so much to offer I think in any given space. And the opportunity or the access is not always there.

And so to have Indigenous people in any kind of department, or any kind of job, any kind of workforce or workspace, and to get to showcase what we're capable of and what we have to offer in our value I think is really important. And I think it's being exemplified. And I can't wait to see it more.

Because, you know, like I said about the youth, it's we have not always been acknowledged. And we've not always given ourselves the permission to be acknowledged as important, but we are really important. And we have important stuff to say and we have important stuff to do. So I think that putting Indigenous people in every space I think has an impact and a value that can't even be measured until it's achieved. So seeing that, I'm excited for.

LAURA CLARK: I love that.

[APPLAUSE]

Very good. And you mentioned Native humor a little while ago. And I just have to call out your episode on "Reservation Dogs", miss matriarch. Oh my gosh. Again, if you guys haven't seen it it's amazing. You're hilarious. Just as a Native influencer, young elder.

But Natives are funny. And I don't think that comes across a lot of the time. You know, there's this kind of stereotype of the stoic Native. And I think Sterlin Harjo kind of turns that on its head. So how can we continue to be more true to the diversity and humor-- sorry, that was getting louder-- the humor of real native culture and entertainment?

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: Yeah, I mean, I don't know. It's funny to think about that I don't know where that stereotype came from of like, oh, the stoic Indian. Because I feel like has anybody ever met Native people? Because we're funny. But yeah, I think I mean, just by having Native people around. You know, like nobody understands our humor I think the same or nobody can create it or recreate it the same as we can.

Like I was fortunate to have that episode on "Reservation Dogs". And like that experience was unlike anything that I've ever felt in a workspace or maybe just in general besides just like hanging out with friends and family, you know. Like there were native people all over the place. And it was like, it just gave this level of comfort and understanding and this environment where there's things that you don't have to explain. Or there's things that just make sense or that are just understood. And there's things that you can say that you maybe can't say in other places because it's not going to be OK or because someone's not going to understand it.

And like that just gave a certain type of ease. And you know, like their show is so cool because they have Native writers, Native directors, Native producers, Native actors. And those are the people who can like-- and it's everybody works hard. And it's a really creative environment still. Like everybody has a place to speak. And so creating that environment again and again I think is so important. Just having Native people around and allowing that.

Because you look at "Reservation Dogs" and people obviously outside of our communities enjoy it and appreciate it. It's not like you have to be Native to understand our humor. But you do need somebody Native around to help you create it. You know, I think that like-- and it's important to share.

Like our humor means a lot to us. It's more than just like telling jokes. It's how we get through life. It's how we get through hard things. It's how we relate to each other. It's how we feel comfortable. So I think also understanding that and allowing it that space of what it truly means to us and that it's more than just like trying to be funny. And that it's actually something really deep and something that means a lot, and also sometimes it's just trying to be funny is important.

LAURA CLARK: I love that. Absolutely. Getting back to your acting career, what's one thing you wish you had known when you started acting?

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: That I'd have to work really hard. And always be prepared for chaos. My parents, again, shout out to my parents, have really good work ethics. They have really strong work ethics. And they raised me I think to always have a high standard for myself. Without like-- I think without letting that be a bad thing. But just to always do well and respect myself, and respect what I'm doing, and respect the other people that are around me.

And I think whatever you're going to do, you should do well because you like it and because you have the respect for it. And you have the respect for yourself just like they taught me. So I think that like knowing the type of commitment that it would require is important. Because it's like, you love something, and you're passionate about it, and that's cool. But like everything gets hard eventually. So you have to be there for the hard moments just as much as you are for the moments that it's really fun. Because, you know, it's something that you apply yourself to and you want to get better at so that requires work. I think anything worth having requires discipline. So there's that.

And then also there's just like things that you can't possibly prepare for, which is like the chaos element. You know, it's like never-- it's like not being home for eight months at a time. It's crazy. But it's a part of that life. And I think that that's something that I'm proud of for us as a people is I think that we've always been really innovative and we've always been really adaptable. So having that I think is something I'm really grateful for.

LAURA CLARK: That's amazing. And that's a great life advice just in general. Just about discipline. I need to write that down for sure. And OK, what's your favorite guilty pleasure?

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: Reality television.

LAURA CLARK: Tell us more. Which one? Which reality TV show?

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: "Love Island". [CHEERING] I see we all like "Love Island". Yeah, I'm a big "Love Island" fan. Actually so is Dan Trachtenberg, the director of "Prey". This is something that we bonded over like really early on. He bought me matching-- he like got us matching hats. So like for those of you the "Love Island" fans in here, you know the Rewired brand the water bottles, and the hats, and stuff that they have, the big R. He bought us matching hats that had the R. Yeah.

I don't know like half way or like towards the end of the movie just because like we were really in it. And he was like I feel like we need something. And so the gift was "Love Island" hats. Yeah.

LAURA CLARK: Do you have a favorite character on "Love" Island".

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: Oh man. This is the thing is like I really intensely like root for people. And then I immediately forget who they are once the season is over. Like I feel really strongly about it and then I will just forget everything. So--

LAURA CLARK: Like who are you again?

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: At the moment, yes. I'm watching season 8 and I am really rooting for some people and I'm really not rooting for some people, but I've heard that changes so we'll wait and see where the opinion lands.

LAURA CLARK: OK. We'll check your Twitter feed.

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: Talk to me in like a month.

LAURA CLARK: Sounds good. So you're busy. You've got a lot of things going on. So you obviously finished "Prey". And the last thing we saw on the news was "Avatar: The Last Airbender", you're doing that. Congratulations. Tell us more. What are you up to? What's going to be? Where can we find you?

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: Well, right now, New York City. Yeah. I'm really excited that I can finally talk about it. We did that a few months ago. I'm playing Princess Yue. And I'm really excited because I was a huge fan of the "Last Airbender" as a kid. And so I feel like if you told 10-year-old me that I'd be playing Princess Yue, she would like poop her pants. So I'm really excited for 10-year-old me and adult me.

It's so, you know, I think it's a really beautiful show and I think it has a lot of beautiful concepts. And just like seeing everybody in the costumes and the sets and stuff, I can't wait to see how it all comes together and what it's going to be like. And I think Albert Kim, who's a showrunner, is very thoughtful and very intellectual. And I'm really excited.

LAURA CLARK: Congratulations. That's amazing. Yay.

[APPLAUSE]

All right. Well, I think we're going to do an audience Q&A. Who's got questions? Going once.

- OK. We have one over here.

- Thank you so much for being here. My question is, do you see yourself writing, directing, or producing in the future?

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: Yes. Thank you for that question and thank you for being here. Yeah, 100%. I produced a film in 2020 called "The Wheel". And it premiered the next year at TIFF, which was really cool. And I didn't really think that I would ever end up in the producing or development space.

But I've really recently been finding that that's something that I'm actually really passionate about and that I'm really excited to do. You know. I figured out that like there's a lot of stories or a lot of ideas or concepts that I would think about. And I'd be like, well, this would be like a really cool movie. I don't know why somebody doesn't make that. And then time would go by and I'd be like, man, no one's making that movie. And I'd be like, oh, I'd have to make that movie. OK.

I'm developing a few things and I'm excited. I'm excited about them. I'm excited to see where they go. And I only envision that as like a bigger and bigger part of my future. Yeah. I think it's also an important way to actually create space for other Indigenous people. You know, like on "Prey" we had an internship program for Indigenous people to be in different departments.

And a good majority of the people who were in those internship programs joined the Union and continue to work in the film industry. And they still have jobs on movies, which is really cool. And that was the first time they had done that. So I was really proud of that and the idea that like, oh, I could develop something. And then enact more things like that or more directly give space to voices and stories is also like wildly appealing.

- Oh, here you go.

- Hi. Thanks for being here.

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: Thank you for being here.

- There's quite a few Native movies that are coming out and shows and stuff like that. Do you see that there's more financing in the pipelines for more creative Native people creating shows and movies and other projects?

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: I think that there's always been creative Native people. I think that it's more just about access at the moment. And I think that, yeah, I mean, I feel like shows like we've been talking about are proof that like big studios and networks are hopefully feeling less and less afraid to do things that they've not done before. And take chances. And obviously, we're showing them that people like what we have to say and value what we have to offer.

Because I mean, the truth of it is that we've been telling stories for forever. Like I think that there's something that's really important and valuable to acknowledge there that our medium has always been and will always be storytelling to a degree. You know, like when we talk about like oral history, it's like we've always done that. That's how we've preserved our belief systems and our cultures and our knowledge of our lineage and stuff like that. That's how we've stayed alive. So I think we really belong in this space. And I think people are understanding that.

- Hi. That was really loud. Hi, I am a psychology professor. And if I were fortunate enough to have you come talk to my grad students what would be two things you would want them to know about Indigenous people.

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: Wow. That's amazing. Well, I would start by asking them what they don't know. Because I'm curious about or maybe what they do know or what they think they know. I mean, I would say that we are in empowered people. I think that people often look at us maybe or like-- I was in a coffee shop the other day wearing a t-shirt that said the quote, merciless Indian savages, that's how we're referred to in the Declaration of Independence. And this guy behind the counter was like, you know, I've been to a reservation and it's so sad. And I was like, cool. I don't really need to hear that.

But I think that like that's people's view of us as like modern day people. And you know, while there are things that we fight, we also don't need anybody's pity. And we are still a very powerful people. Like we do need help. And we need allies. You know, because we need more Native people in positions of power. And so to get that, we also need the help of people who are in positions of power that are not Native. So we need allies.

But we don't need pity and we don't need those things. We're still a very strong and capable resilient people. That was only one thing. Tell them that we're funny.

- Hi. So in the same kind of aspect, I'm an educator. And I work with elementary school students. And something that we actually decided to do this year is celebrate Native American Heritage month. And we actually introduced it to them today. But because they're five, six-year-olds, like how do you think would be a good way to give that access to them in a very attainable way at such a young age? And to help them understand the mass impact that Native Americans have in this land and the fact that they've been here for so long. And you mentioned it earlier too, you know, like we're retelling the story. We're retelling the history the way that it's meant to be. But how can it be attainable for younger audiences?

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: Well I mean, just a cool plug. There's a show on Netflix called "Spirit Rangers" that is an Indigenous show from Indigenous creators with Indigenous cast made for little kids, which is really cool. So that's like a neat way for like young people, for really young people, to be introduced to Native stories. But being on like an educational and intellectual level, obviously it's about when you get older like the history. Like finding out the real history and actually sharing that.

But this is something that Dan and I talk about because his daughter is I think like 4 or 5. And he was asking like she really loves Peter Pan and like, what do I do about that? And I was like, well, I mean, if she asks you just tell her like, you know, that oh, do you think those people are funny in any way? Or do you think they're different? Or like how would you feel if somebody made fun of you because of where your family comes from or who they think you are?

So I feel like, you know, there's a lot of like rich history to draw from. And I think that helping kids understand from any age any part of that history. Like how you just said, oh, on, you know, Native land. Like wherever they go, they're on Native land. So even just that concept I think is really important to start with. And, you know, finding like real Indigenous people to talk about the culture and the history and explain to them those kinds of things.

You know, like having-- I don't know how it works now with COVID, but like having guest people come. I remember when guest people would come to speak to my class. So like having people come in. Actually my dad did that once. My dad was a guest speaker to my class to talk about Natives. So have my dad come talk to your kids.

LAURA CLARK: I love your family, by the way. Oh my God. They're so supportive.

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: They're very-- we're a tight-- we're a unit.

- I have a question. First of all, thank you for being here. It's really beautiful seeing you here. Being in the entertainment business and Hollywood, there's a lot of politics. There's a lot of pressure to maintain a certain image, especially while a lot of stereotypes persist and some of what you were talking about. People seeing, you know, a culture as like monolithic. What do you see as your biggest challenges you have to face currently?

- I think any time I get in my own way is really the greatest challenge. I think that I truly believe like what I say when I say that I think that we as Indigenous people are important. And that we deserve to be here and that we really should. But, you know, also like so I believe that that applies to me, but also I'm a person. So I question myself just like any other artist.

And I think that like that idea of being a woman and being a woman of color and wanting to accomplish so much. But then also like wavering and not knowing the space and going back and forth between pushing yourself and those kinds of things is really probably one of the, you know, like what I think of when I think about challenges like that. But I feel like when it comes to, I don't know, image in the idea of politics.

I feel like just the general philosophies of being an overall decent, hardworking person and just being genuine I think is like-- I've also just come to accept the fact that like not everybody is going to get along great with you and that is OK. You know, like whether that's in a work environment or in a personal environment or whatever that is.

If you're trying to make a business relationship or, you know, sell something or get a role or whatever it's like you're not going to click with every single person. And that is fine. And some people aren't going to understand what you're doing. And that's fine. And some people are going to be against what you're about and like prove those people wrong, you know. So I feel like that's true and I feel like I try my best to not give that any noise.

- First of all, from everybody here just congratulations on everything that's been happening with you.

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: Thank you.

- It's well deserved. So my question is, where do you see Indigenous productions, actors, producers in 10 years going at the rate with Netflix, Hulu, and all that kind of stuff?

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: In 10 years? Man, I hope that we're all over the place. I hope that we're doing everything. It's so cool to see all the different-- I mean, even just having an event like this. Right? This is so-- this is so cool and this is so important. Like this is a part of how these opportunities are created. And because it's about having eyeballs watch and having ears listen and then people having conversations later.

So I mean, I see the future as just being filled with tons of Indigenous stories. And not even specifically. Like I think another huge mark of success is having Indigenous people in all kinds of different arenas and not always having to focus on the fact that there's an Indigenous person in the room. Like I think that, you know, just being able to play like for me like just being able to play like a doctor, or a fitness trainer, or whatever, you know, and not have to talk about it is also really cool.

Because like while culture is extremely important to us and is always a foundational part of who we are and what we do, we are so many other things. You know, you can meet a room of Native people and everyone is different. Everyone has different interests. Everyone has different stuff. So I think that like allowing that space and like not having to always put a spotlight on it or talk about it or make it about being Indigenous, and just allowing that to be natural is hopefully what I see for the future.

LAURA CLARK: That's amazing. Well, thank you, Amber. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] Give it up for Amber Midthunder. Thank you so much for being here tonight and for sharing your stories.

AMBER MIDTHUNDER: Thank you. Thanks, everybody for being here.

LAURA CLARK: Thank you. I want to also thank the team. Lots of thank you's here. I want to thank the team at 74 [INAUDIBLE] for this amazing venue.

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DJ Talita, her awesome Native mixes. Sly Fox Den for their delicious Indigenous food. Lynn Hardy, the Dine artist who designed our incredible gift bags. As well as the-- oh, sorry, clap. As well as all the native owned brands whose products will be in the gift bags that you'll be getting tonight. Highway Bee Farm, Bison's Star Naturals, eighth generation, and Bedré Fine Chocolates.

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And a huge shout out to our events team for making all this happen tonight.

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And thank you everyone for coming. Don't forget to check out our marketplace to pick up gifts from Native vendors. And please enjoy drinks, food, and the music. Thank you.

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- I don't know what happened.