NATIVE PEOPLE may be defined as those “inhabiting or existing in a land from the earliest of times”. They go by different names according to their specific place of origin but can also be described in generalized terms based on geography, like Native American, Asian and African.
Long underrepresented in genre storytelling, in recent years Native Authors and Filmmakers have begun to reshape SCI-FI. Some see this rise as a natural extension of narrative traditions and Mythology, which often have Sci-Fi elements, like tales about visitors from outer space and a creation myth about humanity descending from the sky.
Rebecca Roanhorse is a NATIVE AMERICAN Sci-Fi and fantasy writer. Her debut novel — Trail of Lightning — follows a native woman living in Dinétah, the traditional homeland of the Navajo tribe. Isolated from the rest of the chaotic world, it is protected by a series of vast, magical walls that roughly encompass parts of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. Ancient gods walk the earth and some individuals manifest special abilities known as clan powers.
ASIAN-AMERICAN storytellers create Sci-Fi Worlds drawn from Cultural Experience. One example: Immigrants can feel connected to Alien stories: the Journey far from home … to a Place you do not belong. Ted Chiang is perhaps best known for Story of Your Life, an incredible piece of writing that fuses linguistics, physics, and first contact, but ultimately becomes an intimate portrait of love and loss. It was adapted into the acclaimed Oscar-nominated film Arrival — starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner.
AFRICAN AMERICAN Sci-Fi often focuses on the history of race relations in Western society — including Slavery, the African Diaspora, and the Civil Rights Movement. Octavia Butler, the first black woman to gain widespread acclaim as a speculative fiction writer, is known for works like her standalone 1979 Time-Travel novel Kindred — that explores what would happen to a ‘modern’ black woman who is thrust back into slavery.
NATIVE FILMMAKERS are now crafting and starring in Movies and TV Series that employ SCI-FI elements to tell a moving — and often enlightening — story.
Night Raiders — (2021)
Night Raiders from (from Cree-Métis director Danis Goulet) tells a moving and brutal mother-daughter story that tackles the intergenerational trauma of Native People displacement through a Sci-Fi lens.
In the war-torn world of 2043, children are brought into a state-run institution called the Academy. There, militant teachers brainwash them to become soldiers, forcing them to leave behind their families’ customs, religion, language, and names. One mother joins a group called the Night Raiders, who vow to bring every Cree child back to their community and in turn, discover the hopeful power of kinship.
Prey — (2022)
In Prey, a Sci-Fi Horror Thriller, young hunter Naru embarks on Kuhtaamia, a hero’s rite of passage, when a Predator lands on Earth for the first time to hunt. A bloody battle of brawn and wits ensues.
When asked about how she approached bringing a film set 300 years ago on Comanche land to life, Comanche-Blackfeet producer Jhane Myers said, “I was excited because it dealt with my culture. I was born in Comanche land, with 19,000 other Comanches … It wasn’t hard for me because I could bring that authenticity.”
THE SURVIVAL TRILOGY
As Awarding-winning Authors of Young Adult Sci-Fi, we created THE SURVIVAL TRILOGY to empower Women and People of Color.
Each life-changing story in the TRILOGY (inspired by real events) sheds light on racial injustice — as it explores the human connection to Ancient Aliens through the eyes of Native Mythology. Throughout history, native peoples have borne first witness to the TRUTH about our relationship to Planet Earth … and Life elsewhere in the universe. In the modern world, that Truth has been lost.
Book 1 A Gleam of Light explores NATIVE AMERICAN Mythology as Una Waters, half-Hopi bureaucrat from D.C., is summoned to Hopiland. Her connection to the white man’s world makes her uniquely qualified to help solve a mystery linked to an ancient discovery, as she tries to reconnect with her roots and cultural identity.
Book 2 The Dragon’s Glare explores ASIAN AMERICAN Mythology with Una on special assignment to investigate unexplained violence in Chinatown, New York City. She discovers a deep-seated cultural connection with Tibetan immigrants as Ancient Chinese wisdom battles a threat from Ancient Evil.
Book 3 Beyond the World explores AFRICAN AMERICAN Mythology as Una, stranded on her honeymoon adventure in Yosemite, uncovers a UFO mystery that leads to an Alien Conspiracy. Together with Explorer’s Club teens from the Kikuyu Tribe, she tracks down the source of strange events and fights to save humanity.
NATIVE PEOPLE SCI-FI, shaped by Storytelling narratives and Mythology from the earliest times in human history, can help us understand the TRUTH about our relationship to Planet Earth and Life elsewhere in the universe — pointing the way to our Future.