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So there was this:
As usual, their text is Bold, my response is Italics.
“Stop saying ‘off the reservation’. It’s a reference to the pass system that was in place restricting Native people from leaving without permission.”
Actually, it was a reference to Natives arming up in groups and attacking folk.
“Stop making ‘1/16th, ‘great-great grandmother’, etc. jokes. All of these reference blood quantum, a system designed to ‘breed out the Natives’. Indigeneity isn’t defined by a percentage, fraction, etc. Quit policing Indigenous identities and quit joking about genocidal tactics.”
First off, citation needed on any kind of declared “system” to “breed out the Natives”. Second, percentages? My initial DNA tests declared that I was 2% sub-Saharan African. So do I get to declare myself African American? Did you look at my profile pic to determine if I could? Okay, later revision of the results removed that (and it seems that someone at 23&Me was just sticking that into people’s results to “mess with racists”, which itself calls into question the accuracy of results), but it still says 0.2% “broadly Western Asian & North African”, which would appear to be people of Arabic ancestry (derived from the Islamic conquest of those areas back in the Middle Ages). So, can I claim to be Arabic American or is that not a “quantum.”
Upshot is, who cares? I am me. These various background things that went into making me who I am are background. I am who I am. Tell the people… (Okay, Bible joke.)
Stop Calling things your “Spirit Animal.” You don’t have one. Only Indigenous people from specific nations have spirit animals.
Now this, right here, is highly insulting to my ancestors. My (Father’s side) Germanic/Norse forebears certainly had Totem (spirit) animals. Likewise, on my mother’s side, my Celtic forebears had an animistic religion where folk could share rapport with the spirits of animals.
Just because you are only familiar with American Indigene beliefs in spirit animals does not mean that that is all that there was.
Stop making dreamcatchers. They are sacred Anishinaabe culture and are not cute trinkets, crafts, etc. Buy them from Anishinaabe artists.
That’s nice. Shall we go into the many things that were sacred and cultural to my ancestors that have become trivialized in modern society? How about the Fighting Irish and their logo? All the iconography and trite decorations around St. Patrick’s Day? Or maybe Oktoberfest? And maybe, just maybe, some of the practices centered around a little holiday known as Yule?
Since the dawn of time people have looked at things produced by other cultures and thought “hey, that’s neat” and made copies. Archaeologists trace contact between cultures by noting the spread of cultural styles–pottery, art, religious iconography, all sorts of things. This widening of cultural horizons is a good thing because insular cultures that neither adopt from others or are adopted by others tend to stagnate and die.
Stop buying those little cloth ‘teepees’ for your kids/pets/whatever. Also stuff with tipi prints.
See above about dreamcatchers. Same thing applies here. Also, note that conical tents with an opening at the top is not unique to American Indigenes (specifically to “Plains Indian” cultures). They don’t get to declare sole ownership of something that has been independently used by multiple societies.
And maybe you can pick a spelling? “Teepee” or “Tipi.”
Quit referring to your “tribe”. Enough with the “Bride tribe” nonsense and all the rest. Stop trivializing tribal affiliations.
“Tribe” is a word that existed long before the European encounters with American indigenes. That the word for groupings of related peoples was used for such groupings among indigenes does not give them exclusive ownership of the term.
Humans are tribal. It’s in our very nature. We divide into “tribes”. The wonder of Western Civilization is not how much tribalism remains, but that we’ve been able to overcome it to such an extent, or rather, that we have been able to expand so broadly as to what counts as “our tribe.” Indeed, the wonder of American civilization in particular is that we have been able to define our “tribe” in terms of a core set of beliefs–individual liberty, the supremacy of the individual over the state, self rule and self responsibility–which, of course, certain groups (and I’m pretty sure you are among them) are trying to undermine.
Same thing, by the way, with “chief.”
Don’t wear “War paint”. Don’t put a feather in your hair. Don’t dress up as Native people or characters.
And, again, American Indigenes aren’t the only ones who painted themselves for going into combat. Look up “woad” as one example. American Indigenes aren’t the only ones who wore feathers as hair ornaments. Feathers were common personal adornment through most of history for most of the world. American Indigenes do not get to claim sole ownership of these historically common things.
As for dressing up as Native people or characters, do you apply that to others? Do you object to Viking costumes? Leprechauns? Toga parties? Dressing up as a “jester” (parti-colored tunic and hose, which was actually a fairly common 13th and 14th century Century English dress)? How about that costume I saw of a pregnant nun? Is it your contention that only Native people are too weak to be able to deal with folk taking enough interest in them to actually dress, however imperfectly, like them, even if it’s deliberate mockery (see “pregnant nun”)? Or do you extend that to other POC’s as well? Is it only European people you consider strong enough to deal with people dressing up like their ancestors and cultural icons–even in deliberately mocking fashion (again see “pregnant nun” as one example).
Stop referring to your meetings/side discussions/parties as a “pow wow.”
Languages borrow words from other languages all the time. English is, at root, a Germanic language and yet something like 70% of its vocabulary derives from Latin (largely by way of medieval French, thanks to Duke William of Normandy) but also with Greek, Spanish, Slavic, and a host of other languages thrown in. Why should American Indigenes be excluded from the mix? Why single them out that words cannot be borrowed into English? The meaning changes from what the Natives used it for you say? You mean like “Sanguine” has shifted from “bloody”/”bloodthirsty” to “cheerfully optimistic”?
Languages have always borrowed from other languages, and shifted both meaning and pronunciation over time. That’s just the way language is. You might as well object to the river running out of Pittsburgh being called the “Ohio” which is a word “taken” from the Natives and mispronounced in the bargain “Oyo”.
Or perhaps you do.
Stop supporting sports teams that use racist terms and logos and caricatures of Indigenous people.
Sigh. Vikings. Patriots. Fighting Irish. Pirates. Buccaneers. Saints. 49ers. Brewers. Padres. Yankees. Canadians. Senators. Canucks. Golden Knights. Cavaliers. Warriors.
People don’t name sports teams after things they disrespect. When they name it after a group of people it’s because they represent courage, honor, and fighting spirit, or it’s about some kind of local connection. Sometimes that’s more about the mythology than the reality (“Pirates,” and “Buccaneers” for example) but the idea is there. And, yes, the imagery tends to be stereotypical to the point of caricature. That’s because the point is to be instantly recognizable. That doesn’t make it “racist”. It makes it effective. No real Viking would wear a helmet with grab handles on it and yet the Vikings logo has a horned helmet because that’s what people associate with Vikings. It’s not the sports team’s job to educate people in the true history and culture of Scandinavia but to give people a recognizable image to cheer for.
And I’ll simply note that it was an American Indigene who designed the former logo for the “Washington Sports Team.” It was white folk, like you, who demanded they get rid of it.
Which, then, were truly “anti-indigenous”?