Show an ad over header. AMP

Nickelodeon to unveil a Lakota cartoon character on the series "The Casagrandes"

Meet Charles Little Bull: He's a role-model grad student in his twenties who wears his long hair in two braids. And today, when Nickelodeon unveils his character on "The Casagrandes," he'll become one of the first Lakota figures to appear in a major American animated-TV production.

Why it matters: His debut reflects Native American advocates' stepped up campaigning to champion more positive, high-profile representation in media and news coverage.


  • That's happening as they also push for sports teams to drop offensive mascots with stereotypical images of Indigenous people.
  • Consulting producer Lalo Alcaraz, who also worked on the Disney film "Coco," has been an outspoken advocate for getting more Native Americans in film and television.

The details: Little Bull, voiced by Native American actor Robbie Diamond, tutors one of the show's teen Latina characters, Carlota Casagrande. His first appearance comes in an episode titled “Undivided Attention."

  • "Charles is a patient, encouraging, and positive tutor who never gives up on a student no matter how challenging," a Nickelodeon official tells Axios in a statement. "Charles loves to learn, and when he’s not tutoring at the library, he’s hanging at the library."

Between the lines: "The Casagrandes,” which debuted in 2019, centers around an 11-year-old girl trying to survive in a big midwestern city. It's one of the first cartoons in the U.S. to feature a multigenerational Mexican-American family.

  • The spin-off from the network’s popular animation series, “The Loud House,” came as more networks were taking chances on Latino-themed shows.
  • Some activists are hoping other characters from the franchise, like Little Bull, get their own spin-off.

What they're saying: "We’re finally seeing a shift in Native representation in Hollywood and stories that center and include contemporary Native characters," Crystal Echo Hawk, founder and executive director of networking and advocacy group IllumiNative, told Axios.

  • She said she's hopeful Little Bull will be "the first of many Native cartoon characters on Nickelodeon."

The PBS cartoon “Molly of Denali" also premiered in 2019 and centered on an Alaska Native family.

  • That children's production focuses on a 10-year-old Athabascan girl with a video blog about life in rural Alaska. PBS said it was the first nationally distributed children’s series with a Native American lead.

Don’t forget: From Looney Tunes to Peter Pan, earlier cartoons for years portrayed Native Americans using racist and stereotypical imagery. Often those characters didn't have names. Their tribal affiliations were rarely mentioned.

  • John Redcorn from the Fox cartoon series, "The King of the Hill," was a Native American character portrayed as a loner in leather vests and windblown hair. His symbolism on the show was a topic of debate among pop-culture critics.

Senate Democrats reach deal on extending unemployment insurance

Senate Democrats struck a deal Friday evening on extending unemployment insurance in the President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package after deliberating for most of the day, per a Senate aide.

Why it matters: The deal allows Congress to move forward with voting on amendments to the bill, though it caused a massive delay in the 20-hour debate over the legislation.

Keep reading... Show less

Capitol review panel recommends boosting security with more police, mobile fencing

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

Keep reading... Show less

Financial fallout from the Texas deep freeze

Texas has thawed out after an Arctic freeze last month threw the state into a power crisis. But the financial turmoil from power grid shock is just starting to take shape.

Why it matters: In total, electricity companies are billions of dollars short on the post-storm payments they now owe to the state's grid operator. There's no clear path for how they will pay — something being watched closely across the country as extreme weather events become more common.

Keep reading... Show less

Chamber of Commerce decides against widespread political ban following Capitol insurrection

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce revealed Friday it won't withhold political donations from lawmakers who simply voted against certifying the presidential election results and instead decide on a case-by-case basis.

Why it matters: The Chamber is the marquee entity representing businesses and their interests in Washington. Its memo, obtained exclusively by Axios, could set the tone for businesses debating how to handle their candidate and PAC spending following the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: CDC lets child migrant shelters fill to 100% despite COVID concern

The Centers for Disease Control is allowing shelters handling child migrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border to expand to full capacity, abandoning a requirement they stay near 50% to inhibit the spread of the coronavirus, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The fact the country's premier health advisory agency is permitting a change in COVID-19 protocols indicates the scale of the immigration crisis. A draft memo obtained by Axios conceded "facilities should plan for and expect to have COVID-19 cases."

Keep reading... Show less

8 Senate Democrats vote against adding $15 minimum wage amendment to COVID relief

Eight Democratic senators on Friday voted against Sen. Bernie Sanders' amendment to ignore a ruling by the Senate parliamentarian and add a $15 minimum wage provision to the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

The state of play: The vote was held open for hours on Friday afternoon — even after every senator had voted — due to a standoff in negotiations over the next amendments that the Senate is set to take up.

Keep reading... Show less

CDC: Easing mask mandates, re-opening restaurants led to higher COVID cases, deaths

Easing mask restrictions and on-site dining have increased COVID-19 cases and deaths, according to a study out Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: The report's findings converge with actions from governors this week easing mask mandates and announcing plans to reopen nonessential businesses like restaurants.

Keep reading... Show less

Exclusive: GOP Leader McCarthy asks to meet with Biden about the border

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has requested a meeting with President Biden to discuss the rising numbers of unaccompanied migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border, in a letter sent on Friday.

Why it matters: Biden is facing criticism from the right and the left as agency actions and media reports reveal spiking numbers of migrant children overwhelming parts of the U.S. immigration system. Recent data shows an average of 321 kids being referred to migrant shelters each day, as Axios reported.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories