Calling all Indiginerds: Unreserved heads to Indigenous Comic Con

Earlier this month, Unreserved went to Albuquerque, New Mexico for Indigenous Comic Con. This week we take a deep look at Indigenous geek culture, from comics and cosplay, to wrestling and sci-fi.
This week, Unreserved is at Indigenous Comic Con in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Stephanie Cram)

Earlier this month, Unreserved headed to Albuquerque, New Mexico for Indigenous Comic Con. This week we take a deep look at Indigenous geek culture, from comics and cosplay, to wrestling and sci-fi.

"[Indigenous Comic Con] is a pop culture celebration that goes beyond comics, we have really tried to create a space, where Native pop culture is highlighted, is celebrated," said Lee Francis, who launched the conference three years ago.

"It's more than comics, we have films, we have Indigenous futurisms, we have a fashion show, we had wrestling … we really try to cover all these areas, where Native folks are doing some incredible work that is maybe flying under the radar."
Lee Francis is the creator of Indigenous Comic Con in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Lee Francis/Facebook)

Francis says that these spaces are needed to celebrate Indigenous talent, and to change the way Indigenous stories are told.

"When we're in isolated spaces it's very hard for us to enact our identity, and just talk about our work in a way that's honest and authentic," said Francis.

"In many ways, we just get to be Indigenous, and we get to tell our stories the way we would like to tell those stories."

Five years ago, one of the most iconic films, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was translated into Navajo to help preserve the language. The cast of Navajo Star Wars reunited at Indigenous Comic Con to sign autographs and talk about their experience working on the film.

One thing you notice when you attend any comic con, are that people dress up as their favourite characters, this is called cosplay. Expert Peshawn Bread explains the origins of cosplay, and we ask people to tell us who they decided to dress up as, and why.

Rebecca Roanhorse didn't see sci-fi or fantasy books with an Indigenous person as the lead character, so she wrote one. Roanhorse was at Indigenous Comic Con promoting her book, Trail of Lightning, the first in a series.

Professional wrestling has been popular among Indigenous communities for decades, and at Indigenous Comic Con they showcased the talent of Indigenous wrestlers Kyle Hawk, Desi Derata and Tatanka

Vincent Moniz says he's always had a love, hate relationship with comic books. Moniz started a database to track how Indigenous people were represented in comics, and he found that many of the characters relied on stereotypes. 

Elizabeth LaPensée once said that if she ever wanted to see representation of Indigenous people in comics, she'd have to make them herself. She has followed through on that promise. 

Also, listen to hear cameos from Wonder Woman's Eugene Brave Rock and John Redcorn from King of the Hill

This week's playlist: 

A Tribe Called Red. (Ellis Choe/CBC)

A Tribe Called Red Ft. Northern Voice - Suplex 

Eekwol - Lessons in Cool