Q’orianka’s latest film movie project, Firelight, with Cuba Gooding, Jr., is scheduled to be broadcast on April 22nd on ABC’s Hallmark Hall of Fame.
This will be Q’orianka’s second visit to Northwest Indian College. Her previous visit was March 3-4, 2009.
On a personal note I first got to know Q shortly after the release of the New World. I was writing a review of the film and wanted to talk to the Native people involved in this production. I contacted another actress friend, Kim Norris, who put me in touch with Valerie Red Horse, who put me in touch with Q’s agent, who put me in touch with her mother Saskia, who graciously gave her approval for an interview. Initially we were to meet up at the Sun Dance Film Festival, but unfortunately that meeting fell through. Consequently we talked over the telephone a few weels later. Q was 15 at the time (She had starred in the New World at the age of 14). we talked for over an hour and I was completely taken by the maturity of this young lady and how articulate she was. Most of all, I was impressed by the social consciousness she possessed at such a young age … she was already quite a human rights and environmental activist. In addition, it was quite clear that she had a strong idenity as a young Indigenous person. She spoke knowingly and passionately about her people in Peru who were being exploited by the oil companies, and of her committment to work toward saving the Amazon rainforest.
While most of us are aware of, but do nothing, about problems like the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and the devastating effects of climate change, Q has taken action. She has thrown herself in front of bulldozers in the jungles of Peru, and has chained herself to the fence of the White House to protest President Obama’s meeting with Peruvian President Alan Garcia. She has also served as the spokesperson for groups like Amazon Watch, Amnesty International, and the American Literacy Campaign. She has also championed the use of hydrogen fuel cell, zero admissions vehicles. She does these things unselfishly, not for glory or for self-promotion, but rather because she passionately believes in these important issues and in talking a stand and making a difference. In our “me first” oriented society, she stands out like a ray of sunlight. She is a true role model not only for our Native youth, but for all of us. I am proud to call Q my friend, and I am even prouder to help bring to Northwest Indian College again. I encourage everyone to come out and meet this incredible young woman!
Q’orianka will be speaking at 10:30 at the Career Fair on the topic of The Power of a Few: Taking a Stand and Making a Difference.” She will also be speaking at Lummi High School at 1:45 pm.