On the representation in “Walker Independence,” Cortez said, “Native people have obviously always kind of been around the Western genre. I think people have come to expect them in the genre, and I think they deserve to have a place in there. ” However, representation can be more harmful than beneficial to marginalized groups of people if the show doesn’t provide authenticity and care to the portrayals.
“For me, it’s that I just want to make sure that we’re doing it in a way that is respectful [and] authentic, that makes this character feel like a complex human that people can relate to and is not just there to serve plot or serve another character,” Cortez added. “And a big part of the responsibility for me is to treat the Apache language and Apache culture with the respect it deserves. It’s one of the few times we’ve seen this language onscreen, so the responsibility to do that right is heavy, and I’m always doing my best, and I’m always nervous that people will kind of just not see the weight of that.”
With such a massive and widespread audience, “Walker Independence” is creating something truly special, and Cortez just hopes that fans acknowledge the weight of that. “So I hope people see how important it is that we’re hearing this language, and people are gonna hear it all across the country and maybe across the world, that would be incredible,” he said. “And it’s a blessing, so I’m just thankful to everyone behind it and everyone that’s supportive here, and it’s exciting. So I’ll rise to it, hopefully. I’ll do my best.”