Native American Actor & Activist
Tatanka Means is an award-winning actor, stand-up comedian and motivational speaker from Chinle, Arizona. He represents the Navajo, Oglala Lakota and Omaha Nations. Read More >
From our creation as a people to fighting for our lives, we exist in a pop culture with the last of our elders. Means explores a reality of living in two worlds while preserving life and culture.
Believing in yourself, you are enough and nothing is impossible.
Means looks at Indians in film in the 21st Century and their role in Hollywood, then discusses stereotypes of the modern Indian.
"The National Johnson-O'Malley Association had Tatanka Means as our keynote speaker in April during our national conference. We have a diverse group of members, from students to elders and each of them were able to hear an inspirational message along with lots of laughter from his great humor and wit. Our membership and students love him, and he is truly a great role model for our JOM youth!"
"He was a HUGE hit! I thought I'd share that we ended up having around 150 people on the call and just about half emailed to share how funny and entertaining and insightful he was. Tatanka was fabulous! He was funny, honest and inspiring. We thoroughly enjoyed his presentation and thoughtful responses during Q & A."
“Tatanka Means began our Families Learning Summit 2016 as the featured speaker at the opening session. He was so generous with his time, connecting with our 700 conference participants, sharing personal stories, while inspiring and motivating over 100 American Indian teachers in the audience. His humor and real-life, inspirational experiences were so motivational to the many teachers and administrators in the audience. He spent over three hours after his speech with our American Indian participants who were very honored to have conversation and picture taking time with one of their famous role models.”
"What a treat! Tatanka Means brought much needed levity to a serious topic at the 2017 National Forum on Dropout Prevention for Native and Tribal Communities in Scottsdale, Arizona this week. His heartfelt stories of his own struggles as a Native American youth were delivered to more than 300 attendees with his trademark humor and enthusiasm. As always, Tatanka made himself available to everyone who wanted an autograph and a photo with him. They were still talking about him days later! His presence on a day that featured Native American youth was even more impactful as he connected to issues many of these students face as they navigate through their own challenging circumstances. As an embodiment of resiliency and achievement, Tatanka Means will always be a wonderful role model for America’s indigenous youth and an eye-opener to the people who educate them."
"This was a very mission-centric endeavor, and Tatanka was gracious throughout, visiting more than 700 students and educators at three venues in a single day. At each venue, Tantanka was masterful at engaging the audience, weaving life events into his inspirational message and providing insight into his most current project, Saints & Strangers. He also signed promotional posters at each event, which the students loved. Thanks for inviting us to screen Saints & Strangers. Tatanka was such a delight, and a tremendous ambassador on so many levels, I am quite certain his reach and message will only grow in scope and impact."
"We were so pleased to have Tatanka Means as the keynote speaker at our 13th annual conference! He helped lighten the mood, brought lots of laughs to our attendees and had an inspirational message. We thoroughly enjoyed his performance and the time he shared to take photos and sign autographs."
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