How model Cherokee Jack is staying true to his Aniyunwiya roots

One of the Wallpaper* USA 300, Minnesota-born Cherokee Jack is both a model and advocate for the environment, mutual aid and food sovereignty

Cherokee Jack model photographed by Inez & Vinoodh
A previously unpublished portrait of Cherokee Jack by Inez & Vinoodh, photographed in 2022 in the Imperial Suite at the Lotte New York Palace, styled by Alex White, with hair by Orlando Pita and make-up by Francelle Daly
(Image credit: Photography by Inez & Vinoodh)

Born in South Minneapolis, Minnesota, Cherokee Jack is an Indigenous model known for his advocacy for the environment, mutual aid and food sovereignty, as well as health and wellness. One among a rising guard of new faces, Jack has fronted numerous advertising campaigns from brands as wide ranging as Gap and Cos to Polo Ralph Lauren and Frame, and appeared in magazines such as Esquire, T Magazine, WSJ and Elle. Easily recognisable by his long raven hair, he has been photographed by some of the industry’s most sought-after names, including Richard Phibbs, Annemarieke van Drimmelen, Sharif Hamza and Inez & Vinoodh.

A member of the Aniyunwiya Nation, Jack cultivated a love for the natural world from an early age, spending time around the Mississippi River and Minnesota’s many lakes. He frequently documents his interactions with nature and the diversity of the world on social media, and his ease with being immersed in the great outdoors transcends the screen. On a recent shoot with Phibbs, Jack embraced a towering bison named Clyde, writing: ‘Growing up in the Midwest, I know bison are sacred and not to be messed with and [should be] interacted with [with] deep reverence, so wado [‘thank you’ in the Cherokee language] to this bison for gifting me this special moment.’

On the shoot for Banana Republic’s Spring 2023 campaign in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jack paid tribute to the location, writing, ‘This was shot on Ute/Pueblos land’, acknowledging the Ute people, whose ancestral lands were within Utah and Colorado, but who once hunted as far as Wyoming, Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico. (Pueblos refers to the shift towards people living in larger settlements and villages as opposed to the smaller farmsteads that came before.)

In addition to sharing his respect for the land while on the road, Jack makes sure he preserves his ties to family, community and nature by grounding himself at home in Minneapolis whenever he’s not working. It’s the kind of activism we see ourselves getting behind – authentic, nurturing and judgement-free.

This article appears in the August 2023 ‘Made in America’ issue of Wallpaper*, available in print, on the Wallpaper* app on Apple iOS, and to subscribers of Apple News +. Subscribe to Wallpaper* today.

Pei-Ru Keh is a former US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru held various titles at Wallpaper* between 2007 and 2023. She reports on design, tech, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru took a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars, actively seeking out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.