“‘Native’ Hobbyism is Modern Day Colonialism”-My article at CBC

I was recently invited to write a counter-point essay for CBC, following my participant in the CBC.Docs documentary that premiered in January 2018 on Canadian television. Last July in Berlin, I  sat down with indigenous writer Drew Hayden Taylor on his search to understand why so many Germans choose to appropriate native cultures and/or dressing up and pretending to be “Indians”. The article was published on January 26th, ‘Native Hobbyism’ is Modern Day Colonialism. and specifically discusses how the effects of such practices, especially on Natives living in Germany, are overlooked by both non-natives and natives, which we explore in our own documentary, “Forget Winnetou”, which premiered in Germany in February 2018.

“Indigenous North Americans who live abroad often deal with rejection from relatives who only support or recognize those who choose to live in North America. They report negative experiences such as abandonment, disrespect of their heritage and lack of cultural support. This trauma leads to depression, anxiety and frustration because Indigenous living in Europe can’t simply be themselves.”


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#Documentary Premiere on February 11th at Historic Delphi Theater in Berlin!

On 11 February 2018, the documentary Forget Winnetou! Going Beyond Native Stereotypes in Germany makes its screen debut at the historic Delphi Theater in Berlin. Advanced tickets are now available through the Delphi’s website, and we would love to see you there! Deutsch version is below, and you can read more about film details at its IMDb page.


16:00-16:20 Introduction to panelists and a Q& A
16:20-16:30 A short Documentary
16:30-17:45 Forget Winnetou!

“What does a world look like that respects indigenous peoples, that’s working to end racism and colonialism on a global scale?” A part of that is stopping stereotyping, and Native stereotypes are some of the most pervasive and recognized, but most don’t know their origins or the real harm they do.

“Winnetou”, the still popular American Indian character created by German author Karl May in the 19th century is a symbol of Native stereotypes, of lingering racism & colonialism: the self-bestowed privilege of taking and using whatever you want, even living peoples, for self-gratification. Intentional or not, these attitudes and behaviors continue the cycle of genocide, and can be harmful to everyone, no matter their ethnicity.

Most films on similar topics concentrate only on Native experiences in North America, but through discussions with Natives living in or having visited Germany, the correction of Eurocentricized history & insight on German society, we’ll present why these stereotypes and practices must end: in Germany and worldwide. While some may minimize the effect or harm of stereotypes, they are evidence of much deeper societal issues of injustice, inequality and inequity many countries now face.

Germany is a microcosm of struggles taking place across the world both against and for decolonization, for correcting white privilege and supremacy that’s divided and helped destroy our world. Stereotypes were created to keep themselves in power…and others under their control.

The documentary will utilize live-action scenes, interviews and animated sequences illustrating the theme, and provide an unforgettable, educational experience. Native speaking for themselves, representing themselves, and showing the world their variety, complexity and indomitable spirit.


“Wie könnte eine Welt aussehen, die indigene Völker respektiert, die daran arbeitet, Rassismus in einem globalen Rahmen zu ende? Es müsste damit beginnen, die stereotype Wahrnehmung indigener Völker zu beenden; diese ist weit verbreitet und anerkannt, wie kaum eine andere, aber die meisten Menschen kennen weder deren Ursprünge, noch den tatsächlichen Schaden, der durch sie angerichtet wird.”

Karl Mays beliebter Pseudo-Indianer hat die tatsächliche indigene Bevölkerung jahrzehntelang falsch dargestellt und damit einer weit verbreiteten Aneignung und Ausbeutung indigener Kulturen den Weg bereitet. Menschen indigener Herkunft sind willkommen, jedoch eigentlich nur, wenn sie die Klischees erfüllen.

Auch in Nordamerika sind sich viele Menschen indigener Herkunft nicht bewusst, dass die Stilisierung als Maskottchen in Deutschland lediglich die Kehrseite tiefgreifender Probleme ist, die sich als systematischer Rassismus, Polizeigewalt und Ungerechtigkeit gegenüber Minderheiten darstellen, selbst wenn indigene Bilder, Kulturen und sogar Knochen den Europäern als Genugtuung dienen.

Deutschland repräsentiert als Mikrokosmos all die Kämpfe die weltweit sowohl gegen die Dekolonisierung als auch zu ihren Gunsten stattfinden, zu Gunsten einer Abschaffung der Privilegien und der Vormachtstellung der Weißen, die unsere Welt in Lager gespalten und dabei geholfen hat, sie zu zerstören. Stereotype wurden erfunden um den Weißen die Erhalt ihrer Macht zu sichern….und andere unter Kontrolle zu halten.
Es befindet sich derzeit in der Postproduktion und wird Live-Action-Szenen, Interviews und Newsclips mit kurzen animierten Sequenzen kombinieren.

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20 Dec Launch! A Digital Anthropology Project on #Indigenous Cultural Revitalization

Mark the date: circleofvoices.com will be launching on December 20th! The contact form is already active on-site.

“Circle of Voices is a digital anthropological research project aiming to bring educational awareness about the situation of indigenous women and youths, and more broadly about indigenous rights. It was conducted with young women from the Atikamekw, Abenaki and Wolastoqiyik/Maliseet Nations in Quebec. It explores the process of cultural revitalization through four themes: land, language, art and spirituality. The activities entailed in the project are: participatory photography workshops; sharing circles; sound recordings and video clips of traditional practices; intergenerational dance workshops (fancy shawl); and personal narratives (biographical interviews).

circleofvoices.com is a tangible attempt providing an answer to: what is the potential of the web space to convey academic knowledge and invite indigenous expertise and perspectives?” http://circleofvoices.com/


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“That’s a Wrap!” Photos from #Documentary Finale Scene Shoot in #Berlin, Sept 30th!

A sincere thank you to everyone who came out to participate and help with filming great scenes that will be included in upcoming documentary Forget Winnetou! Going Beyond Native Stereotypes and as production extras for the DVD! It was a beautiful and sunny afternoon in Germany beside the picturesque Tegelsee in Berlin. As I am almost exclusively “behind the camera”, it was nice to finally see myself in photos, which were taken by Viveka Frost and Haven Smith, who are part of our team.

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#Author #Interview-Tyler Wandschneider’s “LOCKHEED Elite” #SciFi Series


Synopsis Short Form:

“After Anders Lockheed unwittingly hires an undercover operative, he takes the bait that draws the attention of the very mastermind he’s been avoiding. Now Anders must flip the military and use them to pull off a monster heist to extract his crew from the heat mounting from both sides of the law.”


“Working to pay off a blackmailer who has learned that a certain genius mechanic isn’t as dead as he was made out to be, Anders Lockheed takes his team on their biggest salvage op yet. Unfortunately, Anders has hired an undercover military operative bent on using them as bait to draw out a mastermind who has been attacking the public with deadly mechs. While on the scav op, things go from bad to worse as the crew of Elite One recover an abandoned woman aboard the claim. Now Anders must decide quickly—stay and fight or cut cables and run.

Either way, it’s too late. Someone has other plans for them. The trap has been set, they’ve rescued the woman and taken the bait, and before long Anders and what’s left of his dwindling crew must navigate with caution through the grips of the military and an especially vile outlaw. But Anders doesn’t captain just another team flying the black. With a genius mechanic who uses his ragtag high-tech machine shop to aid them in getting in and out of trouble, they’ve earned a reputation as the best of the best. With Anders’s careful planning, this motley crew must band together and flip the military to use them on a monster heist and dig themselves out from the heat pressing in from both sides of the law.

Fly with them. They are clever, they are fierce, they are Lockheed Elite.”

Tyler Wandschneider is a Seattle-based novelist working in the professional world. He and his wife are expecting their first child in October 2017. It is a girl, and he is delighted to meet her. Lockheed Elite is his second novel, and no, you cannot read his first. You can follow Tyler on some of the usual social media channels, and he has a website for you to check out as well, www.tylerwandschneider.com. Remember to join his mailing list there so you can be a part of all the trouble he gets into. He is also fond of hearing from those who have enjoyed reading Lockheed Elite so feel free to say hi at anytime.




What genre(s) do you write?

So far, I’ve only written science fiction in novel form. I have some short stories that I’ve put together that are speculative and a bit of fantasy.

Why do you write the stories that you write?

I’m not really sure. I think at the core of it, I write what I do because it interests me. I was on Goodreads the other day and happened upon a post by someone who went on a rant about how tacky it is that some authors rate and review their own work. She was really pissed about it and particularly sour that they normally gave themselves 5 stars. I thought about it for a minute and then I realized that I too would give my own book 5 stars and it might not be why you’d think. You see, that person was thinking the author was trying to bump up their rating. While that might be partially true, there is something else going on that she, for whatever reason, was blind to. When someone writes a story, they invariably write a story that interests them enough to spend countless hours working on it. And most writers, the good ones anyway, would only release a book they loved and thought was good enough to rate 5 stars. So, it fits that an author would write the stories they do because they love those stories. The fact THAT they rated it a 5 means loved the story. And they should, they wrote it. Besides, a rating from an author doesn’t really change the average rating at all, does it? I write the stories I do because I love them and I would gladly rate them a 5.

Did you rate Lockheed Elite 5 stars?

Ha. No. I wrote a quick review but I didn’t rate it.

Why not?

I don’t know. Something wouldn’t let me. Then I found that woman’s post and decided to put the internet down for a while and cool off.

Good choice, when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote a bit as a kid. Then life moved on and for some reason, so did writing. I’ve always loved stories and movies but one day about 7 years ago I just started writing a story because I felt like it. Then a few days later I put that down because I woke up with the idea for my first novel, Pandora’s Chase. Then after that I wrote Lockheed Elite. Now I’m writing the next thing. Seems like I’ve formed a habit that I love.

Where’s Pandora’s Chase now? Is it published? No.

Why not?

I wouldn’t have rated it a 5. But it is up on Wattpad for anyone who wants to read the novel I wrote to figure out how to write a novel. I love the story but the writing in Lockheed Elite, frankly, is much better.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I work fulltime as a structural engineer, thought I wouldn’t say ‘I like it’. My wife and I like to check out new restaurants in town and go here and there. We’re expecting our first child, a girl, here in October so much of my spare time is getting ready for that. Painting rooms and babyproofing and junk and stuff.

Where do you hang out online? Website URL, author groups, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc?

You can find me at Tylerwandschneider.com. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter, though I’m not convinced either one is a healthy way to embrace friendships. Electronic friends are great but I enjoy real people more. I also post once in a while on google plus. Oh and I’m on Goodreads too. I love that place. Great books to hear about and good people too…most of them.

What books are currently on your nightstand?

Rogues, Unfettered, Brilliance, Golden Son, The Bible, Leviathan Wakes, The Intelligent Investor and hehem…Lockheed Elite…yes, I read it over now and then.

Do you remember the first novel you read?

  • Where the Red Fern Grows
  • White Fang
  • How to Eat Fried Worms

…I can’t remember which came first but I distinctly remember those three.


Your Writing Process

What excites you about writing?

I think it’s finding out what I can do. How far I can go and what I can come up with. I love stories and I’ve discovered that I can actually go to these place for a while by writing about them. It sounds weird, I’m sure, but having an intimate memory of the things I’ve written gives me deep memory of them as if I’ve been there. Don’t worry. I’m not crazy and actually think I was there. Sort of. J

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I get up at 4am, make a big ass pot of coffee, shower, and start writing by 4:30. At about 6:30 I head into the office and work til about 4 or 5. Then I come home and spend the evening with my wife.
Lather, rinse, repeat. I’ll write weekend mornings too.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Yes! Finish every story you start. If you write more beginnings that endings, then your endings will never be as good as your beginnings. (Abandoning outlines that don’t pan out is fine. This only applies to stories that you’ve written a beginning to.)

What would you consider is your favorite part of a book to write? The beginning, the middle or the ending?

This is probably going to sound cliché or even answered the way I’m supposed to answer it but I like them all the best. With my style of storytelling, each one depends on the other in many ways. But if I had to choose, I would say the beginning because that’s where I get to put interesting nuggets like ‘guns on the mantle’ and ‘red herrings’.

Most people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. What’s the most unglamorous thing that you’ve done in the past week?

Ate pizza in my kitchen while in my underwear. I’m sure I picked my nose at some point last week too. It happens. We all do it. Don’t judge me.

How long does it take you to finish a book from start to submission?

Pandora’s Chase took me 5 years. Lockheed Elite took me 2. I’m getting better.

Do you have a system for writing?

(smile)Start and finish.

Do you track work count or write a certain number of hours per day?

I track word count but I have a limited amount of time and just do the best I can.


Your Books

Your book is about to be sent into the reader world, what is one word that describes how you feel?

Terrified. But also relieved. Excited too. But mostly terrified.

What can we look forward to in the upcoming months?

Not a ton. I’ll be face deep in promoting Lockheed Elite and writing The Rift in Saela. My newsletter should contain some short stories here and there while we await the next big release.

Oh! What’s The Rift in Saela?


Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I discovery wrote Pandora’s Chase and Lockheed Elite. Though I outlined Lockheed’s ending and I’ve outlined the whole of The Rift in Saela. I’ll let you know next year which I prefer.

So, what’s The Rift in Saela, again?


If your book is available in print, how does it feel to hold a book that has your name on the cover?

Amazing. Truly a dream come true!


Your Characters

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

From my imagination. But I do steal traits from all kinds of people and characters that I’ve known and make up the characters that I need. I tend to want to make the characters like me but I know that’s bad and I work hard to not do that.

Is it hard coming up with names for your characters?

Sometimes but other times they just pop in and they fit. I think I should spend more time on it though and am currently doing so.

Have any of your characters ever haunted your dreams or woken you up during the night demanding attention?

No but I do think about them a lot. You know, wondering what they’re up to while I’m away. Hoping they’re not too bored while I’m at work. Sometimes I write myself an email just to get a taste though.

Which of your stories would make a great movie?

All of them. Every single one. Why did you hear something?!?!

Do you make a conscious decision to write a certain type of character with a certain occupation, or do the characters decide for themselves what they want to be?

I make all the decisions in my worlds. I am the emperor, the king, the president, the captain and the queen too. Yes, somedays are just that weird. Characters, by definition, are made up. It’s just silly to think they do anything without my explicit instruction. However, one of my favorite things to do is place two characters on a couple bar stools and see what happens. It’s a good way to get to know what I’ll do with their personality.


Random Questions

Name one website you visit every single day.


Where do you get your daily dose of news?

My iPhone

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