Sterlin Harjo on creating FX’s ‘Reservation Dogs’ with an Indigenous cast and crew

Hosted by

Paulina Alexis, Devery Jacobs, D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai and Lane Factor star in the FX comedy series “Reservation Dogs.” Photo by Shane Brown/FX

Before he co-created the FX comedy series “Reservation Dogs,” Sterlin Harjo directed three micro-budget films in his home state of Oklahoma. He had knocked on Hollywood's door, but somehow he never could find financing. 

Harjo says he heard multiple times, “‘Native films don’t make money.’ I even heard, ‘This film’s just a little too Indian.’ Or ‘This film’s not Indian enough, we don’t know where to categorize it.’ So, it was very confusing.”

Harjo tells KCRW about almost leaving the industry entirely before teaming up with longtime friend Taika Waititi to create “Reservation Dogs” — a quirky, coming-of-age comedy series with an almost entirely Indigenous cast and crew. Season one is streaming now on Hulu, and the network just announced plans for a season two.



Kim Masters


Kaitlin Parker