Sonny Skyhawk plans to wear war bonnet on red carpet for Oscars

Sonny Skyhawk appears in "Chelsea Does Racism," an episode of the documentary series featuring comedian Chelsea Handler. Still image from Netflix

Sonny Skyhawk, the founder of the American Indians in Film and Television, will be attending the 88th Academy Awards for the first time after spending decades in Hollywood advocating for Indian actors.

Skyhawk is a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. He plans to wear his traditional war bonnet on the red carpet for the February 28 event in Los Angeles, California.

“Everyone sees us as heathens on horseback, when in reality we’re doctors, lawyers, cab drivers – the same as mainstream America," Skyhawk, who is apparently the first and only Native American member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that determines the nominees and winners of The Oscars, tells The Independent.

When Native people are featured in film or television, Skyhawk said they are typically relegated to secondary roles even when the storyline revolves around a tribal community. The acclaimed Dances with Wolves from 1990 and the new The Revenant are prominent examples, he said.

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Sonny Skyhawk: American Indians in Film and Television founder vows to give his people a voice in Hollywood (The Independent 1/30)

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