Native American Actor releases a short film to oppose “Grizzly Trophy Hunt”

“Reintroduce the sacred grizzly bear to tribal homelands – not to trophy hunting,” implores actor Zahn McClarnon as he closes the just-released “Not in Our Name” short film with an appeal for public support for tribal nations in their ongoing struggle to get the Trump Administration to “honor the historic grizzly treaty signed by over 200 tribes.”

Last seen in HBO’s “Westworld” starring as Akecheta opposite Sir Anthony Hopkins, McClarnon has become one of Native America’s most recognizable actors, with prominent roles in AMC’s “The Son,” “Longmire,” “Fargo” and Spielberg’s “Into the West.” 

“Hunting them is absolutely crazy. Why would you hunt a grizzly bear?” asks McClarnon, as Wyoming gears up to open its grizzly trophy hunt in Greater Yellowstone on September 1, over the objections of tribal nations that have been denied formal government-to-government consultation on the issue by Interior Secretary. 

“I grew up in grizzly country and so my experiences with grizzlies are extremely personal because of growing up around them,” explains McClarnon, who is Hunkpapa Lakota from Standing Rock but spent his formative years on the Blackfeet Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy. 

The Piikani Nation, sister tribe to the Blackfeet, introduced The Grizzly: A Treaty of Cooperation, Cultural Revitalization and Restoration, which is now the most-signed tribal treaty in history. Congressman Raul M. Grijalva, who also appears in “Not in Our Name,” introduced The Tribal Heritage and Grizzly Bear Protection Act to the 115th Congress, which was inspired by the treaty. 

Central to the treaty are the grizzly reintroduction articles. The Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council, which includes the plurality of Yellowstone treaty tribes, recently petitioned Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) with the tribal alternative to trophy hunting, writing: “Instead of trophy hunting the grizzly, tribal nation treaty signatories advocate relocating grizzlies from the GYE to sovereign tribal lands in the grizzly’s historic range where biologically suitable habitat exists among tribes that seek to explore and participate in such a program.

The same quota of grizzlies that would be hunted per season by the states, could easily be trapped and relocated to lands under sovereign tribal authority and jurisdiction, removing any possible rationalization for reinstituting trophy hunts. This plan provides for cultural, environmental and economic revitalization for participating tribal nations, as the grizzly is sacred to a multitude of tribes.” Barrasso has yet to respond.


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