“The Cosby Show” was the first show on prime time television to feature a positive portrayal of an African-American family, but critics have said that it didn’t reflect any serious issues facing black Americans at the time. The same could be said about Nickelodeon’s characters because race and class issues are often not addressed. And it’s possible to have a commercially viable television show that addresses race head-on. ABC’s popular show “Ugly Betty” proved that deportations, access to jobs, education and race can be a compelling part of prime time storylines.
Comment: IMDB.com says Torres is Mexican American. Although he played a Hopi boy, he wasn't one.
For more on the subject, see TV Shows Featuring Indians.
Below: I presume Joe Torres is second from the right.