indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Dynamic Homes
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
David Treuer: Appropriating Indianness an old tradition in the US

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: david treuer, elizabeth warren, race, scott brown
     

"Just over a week ago, a handful of Senator Scott P. Brown’s supporters gathered in Boston to protest his opponent, Elizabeth Warren. The crowd — making Indian war whoops and tomahawk chops — was ridiculing what Mr. Brown, Republican of Massachusetts, called the “offense” of Ms. Warren’s claim that she has Cherokee and Delaware ancestry.

To mock real Indians by chanting like Hollywood Indians in order to protest someone you claim is not Indian at all gets very confusing. Even more so because early Americans spent centuries killing Indians, and then decades trying to drive any distinctive Indianness out of the ones who survived. Perhaps we’ve come a long way if Americans are now going around accusing people who don’t look or act Indian enough of appropriating that identity for personal gain. But in fact, the appropriation of Indian virtues is one of the country’s oldest traditions.

Indians — who we are and what we mean — have always been part of how America defined itself. Indians on the East Coast were largely (but never completely) deracinated, and tribes like the Delaware were either killed or relocated farther west. At the same time, their Indianness was extracted as a set of virtues: honor, stoicism, dignity, freedom. Once, in college, an African-American student shook his head when I told him that I was Indian and he said he was jealous. Why? I asked. Because you lived life on your own terms and would rather have died than become a slave. That sentiment — totally at odds with the reality in which many tribes were indeed enslaved and a few owned slaves themselves — seemed a very wistful expression of what being an Indian meant."

Get the Story:
David Treuer: Kill the Indians, Then Copy Them (The New York Times 9/30)

Related Stories:
Paula Peters: There's a Cherokee princess in everyone's family (9/28)
Fact Checker: Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren and Indian claim (9/28)
Suzan Harjo: Race card comes out in Massachusetts campaign (9/27)
Gyasi Ross: Sen. Brown's racist and anti-Indian campaign rally (9/27)
Suzan Harjo: Race card comes out in Massachusetts campaign (9/27)
Sen. Brown warns staff over war whoops and tomahawk chops (9/27)
NCAI criticizes both sides in hot Senate race in Massachusetts (9/26)
Cherokee chief wants Sen. Brown to apologize for 'racist' acts (9/26)
GOP candidate's staffers caught on tape doing tomahawk chop (9/25)
Elizabeth Warren responds to attack on Indian ancestry claims (9/25)
Elizabeth Warren defends claim of Indian ancestry at debate (9/21)
Sen. McCain amused with Elizabeth Warren's Indian claim (9/18)
Indian delegates offer ways to test Elizabeth Warren's ancestry (9/6)
Elizabeth Warren doesn't want to address Indian claims at DNC (9/5)
Indian delegates at DNC seek a meeting with Elizabeth Warren (9/4)
Cole DeLuane: Elizabeth Warren and the politics of genocide (8/21)
NPR: Elizabeth Warren and questions about her 'Indian' heritage (8/9)
Cherokee women unable to get a meeting with Elizabeth Warren (6/22)
Opinion: Indian identity doesn't always come as an easy answer (06/18)
Opinion: Elizabeth Warren sticks to Indian background claims (6/12)
Opinion: Ethnic fraud with Elizabeth Warren's tenure at Harvard (6/11)
NPR: David Treuer and Mary Annette Pember talk Indian identity (6/8)
NPR 'Talk of the Nation' show to air segment on Indian ancestry (6/7)
Column: Indian ancestry claims common throughout Oklahoma (6/5)
Column: Elizabeth Warren has credible Cherokee ancestry claim (6/4)
Elizabeth Warren faces more criticism over Indian ancestry claim (6/1)
Elizabeth Warren defends self-identification as Native American (5/31)
Opinion: Dining out with Elizabeth Warren's 'Cherokee' recipes (5/29)
Elizabeth Warren cites mother for family's Indian heritage claim (5/25)
Another poll taken after Indian identity flap shows a tight race (5/24)
Poll shows a close Senate race despite flap over Indian identity (5/23)
Opinion: Senate candidate tripped up by Indian heritage claims (5/21)
WBUR: Does Elizabeth Warren get to claim 'minority' status? (5/17)
Opinion: Elizabeth Warren was an 'official minority' at Harvard (5/10)
David Treuer: Elizabeth Warren rightly claims Native heritage (5/7)
Kevin Noble Maillard: Senate candidate sees birther moment (5/7)
Senate candidate in Massachusetts defends Native identity (5/3)
Opinion: Is candidate Elizabeth Warren a Native American? (5/2)
Senate candidate in Massachusetts has a Cherokee ancestor (5/1)
Column: Democratic candidate accused of being a fake Indian (4/30)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Remarks by Obama at White House Tribal Nations Conference (9/26)
President Obama signs bill to promote Native tourism into law (9/26)
Lakota Country Times: #NoDAPL lands before United Nations (9/26)
Native Sun News Today: Rosebud Sioux group celebrates win (9/26)
Clara Caufield: Look around because Indians are everywhere (9/26)
Rodney Butler/Kevin Brown: Tribes committed to new casino (9/26)
Gyasi Ross: Obama's legacy on the line with Dakota pipeline (9/26)
Steven Newcomb: Statue on Kumeyaay territory based on lie (9/26)
Peter d'Errico: Book encourages return to a 'tribal' way of life (9/26)
Review: 'Inspiring' documentary about Elouise Cobell's battle (9/26)
More California tribes welcome labor unions at gaming facilities (9/26)
Ho-Chunk Nation starts work on major casino expansion project (9/26)
Obama administration asks tribes about infrastructure projects (9/23)
House passes measure to combat illegal sale of tribal property (9/23)
Mike Rounds: Righting historical wrongs against Native citizens (9/23)
Indian Health Service names new medical officer in Great Plains (9/23)
Interior Department finalizes rule for Native Hawaiian relations (9/23)
Native Sun News Today: Democrat accepts invitation to debate (9/23)
Jeffrey Whalen: A failed experiment in socialism at Pine Ridge (9/23)
Mary Annette Pember: A young boy's journey to Standing Rock (9/23)
Harlan McKosato: Obama must keep promise to Indian people (9/23)
Dean Suagee: Native input needed to guide future of our parks (9/23)
Another North Dakota tribe battles pipeline company in court (9/23)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe extends Class III gaming compact again (9/23)
Top gaming executive on Navajo Nation put on leave with pay (9/23)
Bill slammed as 'modern day Indian land grab' moves forward (9/22)
Republican lawmaker eagerly defends Dakota Access Pipeline (9/22)
Appeals court in DC sets stage for October 5 #NoDAPL hearing (9/22)
Bureau of Indian Affairs role in #NoDAPL 'task force' in doubt (9/22)
Miami language champion Daryl Baldwin earns 'genius grant' (9/22)
Landowners from Lower Brule Sioux Tribe see $11M in offers (9/22)
Mark Trahant: Politicians can no longer ignore the Native vote (9/22)
Native Sun News Today: Nation rallies to #NoDAPL movement (9/22)
Dave Archambault Sr.: History unfolds on Standing Rock land (9/22)
David Ganje: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe takes stand for water (9/22)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.