10 Things You Didn’t Know about Sterlin Harjo

Sterlin Harjo’s journey in the entertainment industry certainly hasn’t been an easy one. As an indigenous filmmaker, he has had to work extra hard in order to get his work noticed. For years, he had to deal with rejection solely based on the fact that people did not want to fund stories about indigenous people. Over the last several years, however, he has been able to make lots of progress and he recently got a huge opportunity with his new Hulu series Reservation Dogs. The groundbreaking series is already shaking the way indigenous Americans are portrayed on screen and many people are hoping it continues for years to come. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about Sterlin Harjo.

1. He’s From Oklahoma

Sterlin was born and raised in Oklahoma and he is a very proud member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. Who he is and where he’s from have played very significant roles in everything he’s done throughout his career. Reservation Dogs is even filmed in Oklahoma.

2. He Likes To Inspire Others

Sterlin is a very creative person and he loves being able to entertain people through his art. However, his ultimate goal is also to inspire people. He hopes that his work will empower people – especially those within his community and make them realize that they can chase their dreams.

3. He’s In A Comedy Group

Sterlin is most well-known for being a writer and director, but that’s not the only way he’s contributed to the entertainment industry. He is a founding member of a sketch comedy group called The 1491s. Over the years, the group has performed at numerous venues.

4. He Hasn’t Done Any Acting

Actors are the people who get the most attention, so it’s not surprising that most people in the industry try to get in front of the camera at some point. However, Sterlin doesn’t appear to have any interest in acting. At the moment, he doesn’t have any acting credits and there’s nothing to suggest that he plans to start acting.

5. He Has Interesting Advice For Other Filmmakers

Sterlin has been through enough in his career to have a good idea of what it takes to make it. When asked if he had any advice during an interview with SFCC, Sterlin said, “It’s such a personal journey as a writer. Everyone is different. I think people know if they are writers or not. If you are, you write, and you get inspired by reading or whatever inspires you. Maybe it’s music, film, or art.”

6. He Likes To Draw

If you thought directing and writing were Sterlin’s only talents, you thought wrong. He also has some other artistic skills under his belt. He loves to draw and he has shared a couple of his sketches with his followers on social media. Hopefully, he’ll share even more in the future.

7. He Didn’t Study Filmmaking

Most people would probably assume that Sterlin went to filmmaking school, but that actually wasn’t the case. While talking to Geek Girl Authority, Sterlin said, “I had no education in cinema. I went to the University Oklahoma Film and Media Studies, but I had no education in the practicality of making a film.”

8. Family Is Important To Him

Sterlin comes from a very close family, and his relationships with his loved ones are very important to him. He often shares photos of his family on social media and it’s clear that they have heavily influenced his creativity. As far as we can tell, Sterlin is currently single and doesn’t have any children.

9. He Believes That He Is An Activist

As an indigenous person, Sterlin firmly believes that he has a duty to use his platform to raise awareness about things that affect his people. He told Geek Girl Authority, “… as a Native, you are an activist because you are in a resistance. You were born into it. In other cultures and communities, it’s easy for people to say, “I’m the filmmaker, (or whatever), they’re the activists.” There is no second string with us. If you have a voice, it is up to you to use that voice to help your people.”

10. He Doesn’t Believe In Writer’s Block

Most writers are very open about the fact that they struggle with writer’s block from time to time. However, Sterlin doesn’t like to look at it that way. While talking to SFCC, he said, “I don’t consider it writer’s block. It’s more like a puzzle. The stories are in there, I just have to unlock them […] whether that’s leaving my comfort zone, or being more stable, or whatever. It’s a mystery.”


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