Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us.  These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for youth to have said example to follow.

DISCLAIMER: The following post may contain spoilers for the FX series, Reservation Dogs.

Willie Jack

Fast Facts: 

Wilhelmina Jacqueline Sampson, aka Willie Jack (played by Paulina Alexis) is unlike any other girl you’ll ever met. Like many other girl crushes, she is a loyal friend, a brave fighter, and loves her family fiercely. But Willie Jack is a Rez Dog!

From the moment we meet her, we know WJ likes to take risks. Her intentions are good, even if her actions aren’t always the most ethical. There’s not a lot to do in her small town in Oklahoma, leaving plenty of room for mischief and creativity. Willie Jack represents a small percentage of Indigenous girls who have to be tough and funny to survive hard times. And the girl has a heart of gold!

‘Stoodis!

The Real Deal: 

The Reservation Dogs a year ago

RESERVATION DOGS “California Dreamin’” Episode 6 (Airs, Monday, Sepyember 13) Pictured: (l-r) Devery Jacobs as Elora Danan, Dalton Cramer as Daniel, Paulina Alexis as Willie Jack, D’Pharoah Woon-A-Tai as Bear, Lane Factor as Cheese. CR: Shane Brown/FX

Willie Jack and her friends, Bear (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai), Elora Danan (Devery Jacobs) and Cheese (Lane Factor) suffered a great loss when her cousin Daniel (Dalton Cramer) committed suicide. The tragic event brought the friends close enough to make a pact to leave Oklahoma together. It was Daniel’s idea to go to California. To honor him, the Reservation Dogs decided that it was their dream too … until it wasn’t.

Willie Jack and Cheese decided not to go to California, recognizing that they have a strong connection to their family and community. WJ feels safe in her hometown with her friends nearby. Even though there was a rift between Bear and Elora, she hoped for the best. Until Jackie (Elva Guerra) entered the picture.

Willie Jack let her loyalty to Bear guide her actions when dealing with Jackie. Jackie and her gang, the NDN Mafia beat up Bear and WJ hasn’t gotten over that. Things changed when Willie Jack found out that Jackie’s brother also committed suicide. Unfortunately her mouth got her in trouble with Jackie first. WJ offered to let Jackie hit her, but Jackie didn’t. She forgave Willie Jack and they became friends. 

There was still huge division within the group. Elora was always at work. Bear was always by himself. And Cheese was always with his new grandma. Willie Jack felt like the group was breaking up and that made her very sad. She sought advice from Daniel’s mom, Hotki (Lily Gladstone). Hotki reminded her of her strong connection to her ancestors. Willie Jack felt their powerful presence and came up with a plan to bring her friends together.

The group obtained a letter that Daniel wrote to himself when he was younger. He talked about how much he wanted to go to California with his crew. The letter reminded them all about how close they once were. To honor him, the Reservation Dogs decide to go to Cali … for Daniel. Despite many obstacles, the group made to the ocean. They let go of the pain of losing Daniel and remembered how much they loved one another. Willie Jack successfully brought the Rez Dogs back together. 

Why She Matters: 

Willie Jack smiles at her friends on Reservation Dogs

RESERVATION DOGS — “Offerings” — Season 2, Episode 9 (Airs September 21) — Pictured: (l-r) Paulina Alexis as Willie Jack. CR: Shane Brown/FX

Willie Jack represents honesty of the group. She’s not afraid to say what she thinks, even if it hurts. Sometimes the things she says come off as funny or rude, but overall, she is unapologetically real. And she can be a little ditsy sometimes, but that just part of her charm. And though she doesn’t express her feelings often, Willie Jack feels so many emotions when it comes to her friends and family.

Willie Jack is one of the more comical characters in Reservation Dogs. She’s just chill and doesn’t try too hard to be liked. Which makes people like her even more. She’s willing to fight for her friends, no questions asked. Willie Jack exudes confidence, courage, resilience, and pride. She is such a strong Native female character at such a young age. For the most part, she’s a great role model … minus the stealing.

So be like Willie Jack, Be Rez-ourceful, Rez-illent … be a Rez Dog. ‘Skoden!

RELATED: Looking for another strong female crush? Check out our Geek Girl Authority Crushes of the Week here!

RELATED: Catch up on all of the Reservation Dogs recaps here! 

 

 

 

Noetta Harjo
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