WES STUDI
Cherokee Nation

2019 – Arts

From small-town Oklahoma Native to internationally-acclaimed actor and musician, Wes Studi credits his passion and multi-faceted background for his powerful character portrayals that forever changed a Hollywood stereotype. Drawing from his rich life experience, Wes has moved audiences with unforgettable performances in films, including “Dances with Wolves,” “The Last of the Mohicans,” Geronimo: An American Legend” and “Heat,” as well as James Cameron’s “Avatar,” Paul Weitz’s “Being Flynn” and Scott Cooper’s “Hostiles.”

Throughout his 30-year career, Wes has won numerous awards, including induction into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Hall of Great Western Performers in 2013. In 2018, Wes, who is a Vietnam Veteran, was invited to present at the 90th Academy Awards. To a viewership of 26.5 million, he introduced a video montage of military movies as a tribute to veterans. In 2019, Wes received the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Governors Award, an honorary Oscar statuette given to honor extraordinary distinction in a lifetime achievement.

Wes is also a skilled stone carver and author. He has written two children’s books for the Cherokee Bilingual/Cross-Cultural Education Center. He is also a passionate activist and academic. A fluent speaker of his Cherokee language, Wes has a national leadership role in the promotion and preservation of Indigenous languages, acting as the spokesperson for the Santa Fe, NM based Indigenous Language Institute.


Wes Studi (Chereokee Nation of Oklahoma) from James Shield on Vimeo.