Rutherford Falls Co-Creator Sierra Teller Ornelas Shares Her Favorite Indigenous Artists

As Rutherford Falls gets two new residents, played by Dallas Goldtooth and Kaniehtiio Horn, creator Sierra Teller Ornelas shares her mission for Indigenous representation on-screen.

By Samantha Bergeson Nov 16, 2021 5:00 PMTags
Watch: Ashley Callingbull on Indigenous Lives Matter: Ones to Watch

Rutherford Falls' co-creator and showrunner Sierra Teller Ornelas (Navajo Nation) is reflecting on the show's past as she looks towards its future. 

The critically-acclaimed comedy series, now streaming on Peacock, has added two new Indigenous recurring guest stars for its second season, E! News can exclusively reveal: Reservation Dogs alum Dallas Goldtooth (Mdewakanton Dakota & Dińe) is set to play Nelson, a new museum curator, and Letterkenny star Kaniehtiio Horn (Kahnawake Mohawk) will portray gym owner Feather.

Additionally, two Indigenous writers have joined the writing team, comedian Dash Turner (Yurok) and Girls5eva screenwriter Azie Dungey (Pamunkey). 

In honor of Native American and Indigenous Peoples' Heritage Month this November, the cast and crew of Rutherford Falls spotlit a special guide to Indigenous artists and creators throughout the U.S. 

"I'm really proud to show Native people portrayed not only authentically but also in a way that audiences haven't seen before," executive producer Ornelas exclusively explained. "Characters like Reagan (Jana Schmieding, Cheyenne River Lakota Sioux) and Terry (Michael Greyeyes, Nêhiyaw from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation) are very well known in their communities but you never really see them in the mainstream...To be able to meld my two worlds together has been a dream come true."  

2022 TV Premiere Dates

Rutherford Falls is one of the largest Indigenous writer's rooms on television with six Native writers staffed on the series including co-creator and executive producer Ornelas, Schmieding, Tai Leclaire (Kanien'kehá:ka [Mohawk Nation]/Mi'kmaq), Tazbah Chavez (Bishop Paiute/Diné/San Carlos Apache), Dash Turner and Azie Dungey.  

Reginald Cunningham

Lead star Ed Helms even pointed to the use of Indigenous music in the series. "The Halluci Nation collaborated on the theme music as well as all of the score for the show, and they're just an incredible Indigenous hip hop DJ collaboration," The Office alum gushed. 

As Ornelas stated, the series is most "proud" of representing Indigenous culture in all forms. 

From authors Tommy Pico and Nick Estes to fashion designers Bethany Yellowtail and Jamie Okuma, the Rutherford Falls team selected their favorite artists today. They also highlighted fashion designers Bethany Yellowtail and Jamie Okuma, musicians Black Belt Eagle Scout and The Halluci Nation and podcasts Red Nation, NomadCast and Toasted Sister. Check out the full list here!

Season two of Rutherford Falls premieres in 2022.

(E! and Peacock are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

Peacock is live now! Check out NBCU's new streaming service here.