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Explain how Native American mascots that are stereotypes and not depicted according to Native American “true” culture can contradict cultural competency

Complete End of Chapter Questions 2, 4 & 5
Part two: Complete Internet Exercise: go to and find an article on equal pay. Now summarize what the article says and state if you agree or disagree with its viewpoint.

Chapter Six

End of Chapter Exercise

What is the “real” Thanksgiving Story?
Using the Internet, look up the following address: go search for “The Real Thanksgiving Story.” Once at the website
Teaching bout Thanksgiving
read “Introduction for Teachers” and “The Plymouth Thanksgiving story.” Nowcomplete the following:
1. Explain five things that you learned from this story.

2. State if you were taught this version of the story and if yes what impact did this have on your view of Native Americans. If you were not taught this version of the story, indicate what impactdid the story you were taught have on your view of Native Americans. If you did know aboutThanksgiving, state what your views are regarding the U.S. treatment of Native Americans.

Part three: Read the two articles (found at the bottom of this assignment) and explain the following:
A. Dr. Cornel Pewewardy article’s viewpoint, A genocide of a mind’s article viewpoint.
B. Now indicate how Native American mascots that are stereotypes and not depicted according to Native American “true” culture can contradict cultural competency as explained in the text.

Chapter Seven

Part two: Complete Internet Exercise.
Using the Internet, go to (short list of inventions provided) to the following site to look at a more extensive list of black inventors or go to type: black inventors

1: Now list eight to nine of the inventions that you use in a normal week.

2: Now answer the following question: Blacks seem to be highlighted when it comes to sports andentertainment or civil rights—what is your view on sharing these important scientificcontributions to U.S. society, how can this cultural knowledge (area of knowledge andcontribution perceived as only for the intellectual best) change or enhance one’s view of Blacks?How could it help Black children?

ARTICLES (for Chapter six exercise)
Team Names and Mascots
Taken from a school’s website: We simply chose an Indian as the emblem. We could have just as easily chosen any uncivilized animal.
Eighth-grade student writing about his school’s mascot, 1997
An article excerpt explains the basic problem:
Will Another School Year Bring Insult or Honor?: The Usage of Indian Mascots in School-Related Events (Article One)
By Dr. Cornel Pewewardy (Comanche/Kiowa)
The portrayal of Indian mascots in sports takes many forms. Teachers should research the matter and discover that Native Americans would never have associated the sacred practices of becoming a warrior with the hoopla of a high school pep rally, half-time entertainment, being a sidekick to cheerleaders, or royalty in homecoming pageants. Most of these types of activities carry racial overtones of playing Indian in school events. Some teams use generic Indian names, such as Indians, Braves, or Chiefs, while others adopt specific tribal names like Seminoles, Cherokees, or Comanches. Indian mascots exhibit either idealized or comical facial features and “native” dress, ranging from body-length feathered (usually turkey) headdresses to more subtle fake buckskin attire or skimpy loincloths. Some teams and supporters display counterfeit Indian paraphernalia, including foam tomahawks, feathers, face paints, and symbolic drums and pipes.
They also use mock-Indian behaviors, such as the tomahawk chop, dances, chants, drumbeating, war-whooping, and symbolic scalping. These negative images, symbols, and behaviors play a crucial role in distorting and warping Native American childrens’ cultural perceptions of themselves as well as non-Indian childrens’ attitudes toward Native Americans. Most of these proverbial stereotypes are manufactured racist images that prevent millions of students from understanding the past and current authentic human experience of Native Americans.
What’s wrong with Indian mascots, anyway? From Take Me Out of the Ball Game by Holly Beck, 1/31/05:
Forty years after the civil rights battles of the 1960s, Native Americans and civil rights advocates are still fighting a decades-old battle to end the depiction of American Indians on football helmets, basketball courts and team jerseys. They say such images foster a shallow and inaccurate understanding of Native American cultures, reinforce stereotypes of the noble savage or red-faced warrior, and encourage racist behavior among sports fans.
Part of the problem, says Jacqueline Johnson, of the National Congress of American Indians, is the complete inaccuracy of most representations by sports teams. “You’ll see icons or pictures that are not reflective of the people or cultures,” she says. “They become caricatures, and that’s offensive in itself, as it would be to any other race if they were caricatured.”
From Bill Plaschke’s column in the LA Times, 8/7/05:
“These names and images have a damaging effect on Native Americans because it freezes us in our past, it distills our humanity to a one-dimensional term,” said Joseph Gone, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan who once fought for the elimination of mascot Chief Illiniwek when he was a student at Illinois.
From Nicknames & Mascots: Complicity in Bigotry by Keith M. Woods (Poynter Institute, 8/17/05):
The harm here is not that all Native American nicknames are insults on the order of Washington’s Redskins. It’s that nearly all of them freeze Native Americans in an all-encompassing, one-dimensional pose: the raging, spear-wielding, bareback-riding, cowboy-killing, woo-woo-wooing warriors this country has caricatured, demonized, and tried mightily to exterminate.
A document titled “What’s Wrong With Indian Mascots, Anyway?” (source unknown) tries to answer the question it poses:
Because virtually the only image that non-native children view of Native people are of the mascots, most children assume that Native people are dead or were war-like people. This stereotype diminishes the Native culture and is hurtful to Native people.
Our myths and legends that the Native people were bloodthirsty killers are perpetuated by the mascot. These myths are what are psychologists deem “dehumanization,” which is necessary in any war to justify the killing of people. In other wars, we can remember the names used for Germans, “krauts,” Japanese were “Nips,” etc. But when wars are over we drop those names and show respect once again for people who are not our enemies. We have never dropped those names and perpetuate a war like attitude towards Native people by the continuance of those names.
For a refutation of the claim that being called war-like is an “honor,” see Smashing People: The “Honor” of Being an Athlete.
In an interview with, 3/20/01, author Sherman Alexie (Spokane/Coeur d’Alene) adds another important point:
“The mascot thing gets me really mad” Alexie says. “Don’t think about it in terms of race. Think about it in terms of religion. Those are our religious imagery up there. Feather, the paint, the sun that’s our religious imagery. You couldn’t have a Catholic priest running around the floor with a basketball throwing communion wafers. You couldn’t have a rabbi running around.”
Second Article
VIEWPOINT: A genocide of the mind
By Chase Iron Eyes
Published Sunday, November 18, 2007
AURORA, Colo. � The heart of the problem is a conceptual flaw in the practice of using Indian logos. We don’t want change simply because we disagree semantically with the word “Sioux”. No, we want change because our very identity is under attack.
This issue is not about Indians complaining about degrading treatment from non-Indians. This is about our own existence.
Since we lost control of our spiritual self-determination, it has been very hard for our children to learn that their sense of self-worth comes from our living religion.
A transformation happened when a collective Euro-American consciousness began to dictate what is the essence of an American Indian. This transformation made the existence of Indian nicknames possible.
But the practice of using Indian nicknames is evidence of that transformation. This transformation also is called “objectification.”
The most devastating aspect of Indians as nicknames and logos is the objectification of our race.
Objectification goes back to the days of the papal bulls that claimed non-Christians had no rights of their own, as well as to stories about the white experience in Indigenous country. Stories were widespread about “the savage red men just beyond the frontier.”
The very fact that a group of folks tried to “define” a culture demonstrates that “Sioux” identity was under attack from a forceful objectification that would supplant all conceptions, even our own, of Indian identity.
No longer are we living our identity; we are looking at it through a lens created by the European � a lens in which Indians are inferior and whites are superior. We are looking through a lens created and shown by the use of Indians as team nicknames and mascots.
Inevitably, we judge our own “Indianness” based on the whole of our life experiences and learning. Largely, the whole of our learning consists of foreign perceptions and views on the world, learned in schools, on TV and from other outlets.
Creating a team name based on a race of people makes it easier for Indians and non-Indians to sense that object group (Indians) as something different than the group using the nickname (humans).
This process is dehumanization. It is the subtle shift in thinking that takes place when we are used as team nicknames.
The Indian nickname dilemma is so dangerous because it is doing significant damage while a large portion of us are unaware of it. Because the objectification of Indians is so widespread, accepted and institutionalized, we unwittingly buy into the idea that Indian team nicknames are harmless.
In reality, this objectification is undercutting our self-esteem and it is damaging the way the world sees us.
It is our cultural/intellectual resources being taken from us � our identity. We get nothing but ridicule and disdain for our faiths, cultures and identities. Our kids and people are still subjected to scorn for our identity when they see that our essence is being objectified.
Why has the Indian nickname and logo remained? People see this as something not affecting their day-to-day lives. But make no mistake, the problem is not abstract; this practice causes damage to our own individual and national self esteem.
By not allowing our essence to be misappropriated and outright disrespected by others, we are promoting proper spiritual, mental and emotional health for our wicoicage or future generations. We will not see this debate go away any time soon. It will remain so long as Natives with informed senses of identity survive into the new millennium.
Iron Eyes is a UND graduate and a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
Mascots aren’t the only problem
Chad Smith, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, explains how mascots are representative of a larger problem. From Indian Country Today, 9/2/01:
“Actually the mascots are a small part of an overall issue and that is of Indian imagery. In that you have public domain cartoons, movies, nicknames, icons, logos, commercial appropriation of Indian images � it goes on and on. You have to look at each one of those and do an analysis.
“The analysis I use is twofold. The first one is called Anaweg, that is my 8-year-old daughter. Does it teach her the truth about Indians? If the image doesn’t, I have no use for it. The second is Nedsin, that is the name of my deceased father. Does it honor our ancestors? If it doesn’t, I have no use for it. That is how I look at all the stuff I see about Indians.
“The image of Indians follows a long pattern of appropriation,” Smith said. “Illegal appropriation often, land, water, resources, our children. So when they appropriate, they believe they have property rights to that imagery and that’s not true. The exception is that we have a high school called Sequoyah High School. Indian schools are the only schools in the country that are entitled to refer to themselves as Indian. That is our form of identity. Other schools are not entitled to do that. They are basically appropriating our identity.”
Mascots are just the most blatant example of Native stereotyping in our culture. Other examples include the chiefs, braves, and maidens seen in movies, TV shows, and cartoons. In an essay titled ‘Red Face’ Does Not Honor Us (Snag Magazine, 2/1/05), H. Mathew Barkhausen III explains how ubiquitous the images are:
Corporations all over the United States that have named their companies with some sort of “Indian” name, and companies have created corporate logos and trademarks with an “Indian” theme in mind. From the ridiculous photos on the door of the trucks of the “Navajo” trucking company depicting a Native woman in stereotypical “Indian princess” garb, and for some bizarre reason, with deep blue eyes, to the other “Indian princess” depicted on the “Land O Lakes” butter packages, stereotypical images of Native Americans are everywhere.
So non-Indian America is misusing and abusing Native images, including mascots. Even if this is true, some people argue, it’s a trivial issue. Why worry about it when Indians suffer from poverty, crime, and substance abuse?
Rennard Strickland provides the answer in Changing Mascots Doesn’t Signal Failure, Lack of Honor (Muskogee Phoenix, 9/14/06):
The question of mascots is significant for Native Americans. It transcends sports and entertainment. It influences law. It dominates resource management. It profoundly impacts every aspect of contemporary American Indian policy and shapes both the general cultural view of the Indian as well as Indian self-image. No groups other than the Indian face the legal situation in which their land, as well as their economic, political and cultural fate, is so completely in the hands of others. That is so because of the way in which substantial tribal resources are held “in trust,” with the management and regulation, if not always operation, resting with the federal government as “trustee.” The result is that the non-Indian in the U.S. Congress and in the executive branch control the fate of Indian peoples and their resources when they legislate and administer practices and policies.
The Indian image is, therefore, an especially crucial and controlling one because it is that image (often reflected in mascots like the Redman) which looms large as non-Indians decide the fate of Indian people. If the non-Indian decision makers continue to view native people as dinosaurs, as redskins or warriors, as happy hunter on the way to extinction, the policy will be different from what it would be if the decision�makers saw beyond the mascot and the stereotype.
More than just hurt feelings
If the harm of stereotypical mascots isn’t self-evident, Dr. David P. Rider makes it evident in Stereotypes/Discrimination/Identity:
Nowhere are such negative appraisals of minority groups more blatant than in the mascots and Indian names of sports teams that proliferate in the American education system. While other minority groups in America must endure negative stereotypes, Indians are the only minority group that has those stereotypes advertised in government-funded public schools. Indian mascots help to promote and perpetuate the dehumanizing stereotypes that developed among European colonizers centuries ago. As such, they are harmful to both Indians and nonIndians. Indians endure the psychological damage of seeing cartoon-like caricatures of themselves embodied in the mascots, perhaps the ultimate in dehumanizing victims. It is no coincidence that Indians have the highest suicide rate, school drop-out rate, and unemployment rate of any group in the United States.
From Bill Plaschke’s column in the LA Times, 8/7/05:
Gone said he was stunned by the effect that the chief’s presence had upon the racial attitudes on campus.
“When I got there, I thought, sure, a mascot could be relevant,” he said. “But then I saw how the Native American students on campus felt cheapened, they would have things thrown at them, they underwent a very bitter experience.”
Or as Suzan Shown Harjo put it in The NCAA Is Learning What It’s Like to Be Indian (Indian Country Today, 8/11/05):
Most of the commentators on this issue lump “Indian” sports references in with the bears, tigers, banana slugs, geoducks and leprechauns. They don’t seem to notice that they are species hopping from humans to creatures and mythical beings, and that only the “Indians” are based on living people.
Political correctness run amok?
Some people believe this�and other cases of stereotyping�are examples of political correctness run amok. But as another quote from Dr. Pewewardy (Indian Country Today, 3/15/00) shows, Native people are hardly dogmatic on the subject of mascots:
You have to understand that I’m not totally against all Native mascots. I am against negative Native mascots. I think people have to define that. It’s negative if it is a caricature�big nose, big teeth. Something like that shouldn’t be in schools. It is a negative message.
We are trying to prevent stereotypes from happening, but with these mascots and caricatures the image is negative. That is what they send out. The children are impacted by those symbols. I rarely see positive good stereotypes in mascots.
In Tribes Protest Use of Fighting Sioux Nickname, Logo (Grand Forks Herald, 3/27/05), mascot foes Charlene Teters and Daniel Green express similar views:
In a perfect world, Teters said, indigenous image and representations would be used sensibly. And universities would promote cultural studies that combat stereotypes and teach students the value of cultural symbols and the true history of the people behind them.
But since real life is not perfect, it will take generations before tribal nations facing a “sickening list” of socioeconomic problems recover, Green said.
Until then, he said, rallies such as this will help to restore some of the native pride and true identity.
In fact, Indian mascots occasionally receive a Native seal of approval. From Take Me Out of the Ball Game by Holly Beck, 1/31/05:
Many sports fans profess as much devotion to their teams’ racially-charged Indian mascots as to the players themselves, insisting that the mascot is a tribute to this country’s native peoples. Supporters point out that there are many Native Americans who say they are not bothered by their likeness on a jersey or football helmet. Perhaps the most famous group to have willingly lent its name to a sports team is the Seminole tribe in Florida, immortalized by Florida State University’s Florida Seminoles.
But critics of the Florida Seminoles point out that while the team logo and mascot uniform are sanctioned by the Seminole tribe, the behavior of sports fans at home games is not. The school’s respectful tribute to the Seminole nation, crafted so carefully in collaboration with the tribe, crumbles quickly when keyed-up sports fans start hollering �war chants’ and doing the �tomahawk chop’ at halftime. Advocates for change also argue that the consent of some Native Americans does not lessen the hurt and embarrassment felt by others, all so that sports fans can have an image to rally around.

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