True Detective star Kali Reis embraces her Afro-indigenous heritage

The boxer-turned-actress was honored at a brunch celebrating Native women in film and television on Friday.

Kali Reis does not take her identity for granted.

“I’m the first generation of my line who was actually able to grow up in the culture,” said the True Detective: Night Country star of being from the Seaconke Wampanoag people. “My great-grandmother, grandmother, mother were taught, generation after generation, ‘You don’t say you’re Wamp.’”

She explained that New England, where she grew up, was a hostile place for Wampanoag people even as recently as 20 years ago, with hostility tracing back to bloodshed between the tribe and the British colonists in King Philip’s War in the 17th century. (The Seaconke are not one of the two Wampanoag tribes recognized by the federal government.)

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