A Story of Reclaiming - Netflix's First Native American Actress

Some may wonder why Hollywood’s repertoire of brown actors don’t consist of many, if any, Native American individuals. Appealing to the need for more representation, Netflix’s new series, Chambers is satisfying this necessity for the presence of Native Americans on television with their lead actress, Sivan Alyra Rose.

Originally from Arizona, Sivan was raised on an Apache reservation just outside of the state’s capital by the women in her family. Her experience in acting, modeling, and painting have landed her the coveted role of working alongside the Oscar-nominated actress, Uma Thurman.

Sivan plays a strong-willed woman who goes by the name of Sasha Yazzie. Sasha’s life is flipped upside down by a life-threatening cardiac arrest which ultimately leads her into needing a heart transplant in order to remain alive. The heart surgery she undergoes turns out to be even more horrific than the near-death experience she has due to the strange occurrences that go down shortly after. Unbeknownst by Sasha, the new heart inside her very own body was Nancy Lefevre’s (played by Uma Thurman) daughter’s, Becky. While Sasha learns to navigate her everyday life as a very lucky woman, she begins to face the repercussions of the psychological damage that led to Becky’s death which collides their two contrasting lives together. Directed by female-director Leah Rachel, the narrative focuses on the presence of Native Americans in Arizona and Sivan is the perfect and most suitable person to fulfill this role as a Native American actress who shares the very same story.

Creating spaces and breaking molds, the Arizona-raised actress is utilizing her platform and goth aesthetic to voice her views on diversity, genuity, and gender equality. The 19-year-old artistic activist is definitely leaving her mark on Hollywood’s European legacy and she continues to steamroll her way through the traditional barriers of American cinema.

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