The NAIWC releases a new guide to creating authentic Native characters and Indigenous plot lines.


Though 60% of the Native American population lives in cities, most Native characters are portrayed in the media as living on a reservation or “in the wild.” This is one of the many ways the industry gets it wrong when it comes to portraying the diverse and nuanced experiences of Native American people.

The WGAW Native American & Indigenous Writers Committee (NAIWC) produced its new guide, I’m Writing a Native Character…Now what?, to educate all writers on the do’s and don’ts of authentic Native representation. In it, the authors clarify the terms used to describe the community; update readers on the status of Native representation onscreen and in television and screenwriting; and identify harmful and positive narratives.

This guide can orient non-Native American writers to the community, though the best approach to representing Native American characters is to hire Native writers.

To learn more about the NAIWC, read the mission, their 2020 open letter to Hollywood, or see the 2020 Written By feature, “Decolonizing Hollywood.”