1900 posts tagged lastrealindians
Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld Jump on the Native Appropriation Bandwagon, By Ruth Hopkins
I was an admirer of Karl Lagerfeld’s designs, so you can only imagine my disappointment when I saw photos from the Chanel’s Wild West inspired pre-Fall Show held in Dallas, Texas this past Tuesday eve. The show featured Native prints and white feather headdresses. Turquoise, feathers, fringes, and beadwork were also on display, along with plenty of cowboy hats and boots.
First, let’s get something out of the way. I don’t care what you’ve seen in old Hollywood movies or what pop media has told you: pairing cowboys and Indians as a matching set is trite and problematic at best. Being a cowboy is a profession. Being American Indian is about what race you’re born into. When someone dresses up like a cowboy, they’re taking the guise of someone who wears chaps and rustles up cattle. When a person wears an ‘Indian’ costume, they’re mocking an entire group of human beings based on their skin color and heritage. What’s even more disturbing is when society as a whole seems to encourage this practice, given that collectively, anyone with a colonial or pioneer ancestor is descended from someone who was agreeable to the stealing of Native lands as well as the massacre of Native women and children ala Manifest Destiny.
Yes, cowboys and Indians existed during the same time period and occasionally fought one another during western expansion, but American Indians are still very much alive. You don’t get to leave us in 1899. No matter how much the powers-that-be would like to pencil in our extinction, we remain. American Indians live on reservations, in cities, and everywhere in between. We walk among you. We are part of American society here and now, in 2013. We work, shop, and pay taxes like everyone else. Brand new American Indians are being made and born as I write this.
Unlike everyone else who immigrated to this continent and embraced the idea of assimilating into the melting pot that is mainstream society, American Indians held onto their ancient cultures, languages, beliefs, and ceremonies; ones that predate the Declaration of Independence. Indeed, our ancestors fought for them under pain of death, and hid them when they were made illegal- for us, their children. Because our ancestors loved us, the Federal government’s policies to terminate and assimilate us failed. We haven’t lost touch with what is sacred. It is now our responsibility to keep these ways, see that they are respected, and hold those who attempt to exploit and abuse them accountable.
Over the past several years, Native appropriation in popular culture has become an epidemic. I don’t understand why this practice continues, despite protests from many Natives and their allies. With each incident followed by outrage and demands for the offensive behavior to end, as well as an apology and request for some remediation, it gets harder and harder for appropriators to feign ignorance. This leads one to believe new incidences of Native appropriation are purposeful, i.e. grandstanding on one’s white privilege by the offending party.
Dakota 38+2, the Full Movie
The Gift of Lakȟotiyapi, By Waniya Locke
My mother is from the heart of Copper River Valley of Alaska. She moved to Standing Rock Reservation after meeting my father. They were a young couple with two small children. My mother befriended a woman named Marge Edwards (Shoots the Enemy). This bond formed over the years creating a Huŋka (adoption); the younger generations thought my mother was a Lakota. Marge took us as her own, always up-holding kinship and love for us at all times.
In 2011 Lakota Language Action Education Program (LLEAP) was created. I applied for this program because I enjoyed learning our language. This path I embarked on was a path of enlightenment. I had a broken spirit, but with each word and sentence structure I learned, my spirit mended. Marge’s first language was Lakota; she obtained a teaching degree and was one of the first Lakota Language teachers on Standing Rock. She was my biggest supporter. Not only was she my aunt, but she was also my hardest teacher. She was my personal dictionary. In the beginning years of LLEAP, I would call her regularly for words, translations, and corrections or to have her hear me speak. As I progressed through my first semester of LLEAP, I felt invincible! I would call my aunt every other day just to share what I had learned.
As Thanksgiving break was approaching, another family member informed me that my aunt was sick. I called my mother to confirm the news. I finished my first semester and returned home as quickly as possible. Upon returning home, my aunt and I were up late making frybread. It was a quiet night as we cooked. I finally asked my Aunt, “Why didn’t you tell me of your condition?” She was quiet for awhile and spoke softly, “Because you and I have work to do! I didn’t want this thing to be in our way. I want our focus to be Lakȟotiyapi and education. So now let’s do some drills.” We did do drills; I had to say as many Lakota Words I knew for her as we finished frying bread.
READ THE REST HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/the-gift-of-lak%c8%9fotiyapi-by-waniya-locke/
180 Mile Run to Commemorate Survivors of Wounded Knee
“Tuweni Tsa Obsni” They never Died. The Wounded Knee Survivors Run from Wounded Knee to Takini South Dakota starts on Dec. 29, 2014. Descendants of survivors of The Wounded Knee Massacre, men, women, children, elders and others will gather in Wounded Knee on the 29th, after the ceremonies that mark the end of the Big Foot ride are completed. This year a staff from the Bigfoot horse-ride will be carried from Wounded Knee toward Takini along with our runners’ staff. Runners will trek 180 miles in the cold winter air, as a reminder that the journey of some of our relatives didn’t end at the Wounded Knee Massacre sight. Some of the relatives journeyed back to Takini. Through the cold air and during the night, the only light that led their way was the moon. Some of the relatives that started the journey back to Takini, never made it back. Some were subdued by their injuries and they were still hunted, through territories that are now occupied by ranchers, settlers and small towns. They had to travel at night and stay hidden during the day.
Today in South Africa it’s raining. “In Africa they say when it’s raining when you are buried the gates of heaven have opened up; the gates have opened up to welcome Nelson Mandela.” -President Jacob Zuma, South Africa