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
Native American Bank - Native people investing in Native communities
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:
Tribes rest easy as Supreme Court wraps up a surprising session (6/24)
Tribes in northern California take action to protect salmon runs (6/24)
Aaron Payment re-elected as chairman of Sault Ste. Marie Tribe (6/24)
Gun Lake Tribe hosts annual Sweet Grass Moon Powwow in July (6/24)
Native Sun News: First Native hockey referee 'Butchy' passes on (6/24)
Delphine Red Shirt: Lakota people denied voting rights on our land (6/24)
Ruth Hopkins: Saving sacred Bear Butte from a massive biker bar (6/24)
Terese Mailhot: Becoming a better ally after the Orlando shooting (6/24)
April Youpee-Roll: Elizabeth Warren owes more to Indian Country (6/24)
Another land-into-trust fix reportedly being drafted in the Senate (6/24)
Federal charges filed in kidnapping of girl on Fort Peck Reservation (6/24)
Non-Indian charged for trespassing at Nambe Pueblo in New Mexico (6/24)
St. Croix Chippewa Tribe warned not to launch marijuana operation (6/24)
Eastern Shawnee Tribe breaks ground on $34M expansion at casino (6/24)
Non-Indian gaming firm loses challenge to law for new tribal casino (6/24)
Grand Ronde Tribes to finish demolition work at site of old racetrack (6/24)
Supreme Court deadlocks in closely-watched tribal jurisdiction case (6/23)
Matthew Fletcher: 'Huge win' for Mississippi Choctaw court system (6/23)
Native American Basketball Invitational draws top talent to Arizona (6/23)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe almost done with long-awaited theater (6/23)
Susanville Rancheria thanks lawmakers for help with land-into-trust (6/23)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules hearing on three bills (6/23)
Supreme Court backs affirmative action policy in long-running case (6/23)
Native Sun News: Senate committee takes on Indian Health Service (6/23)
Mark Trahant: A Republican plan to terminate Indian Health Service (6/23)
James Giago Davies: Welfare for corporations but nothing for tribes (6/23)
Peter d'Errico: Justice Clarence Thomas critiques federal Indian law (6/23)
Two charged for beating and setting woman from Crow Tribe on fire (6/23)
White House defends fracking regulation imposed on Indian lands (6/23)
Mescalero Apache woman hosts fundraiser for Miss United States (6/23)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to collect sales tax on entire reservation (6/23)
Seneca-Cayuga Nation ordered to conduct another council election (6/23)
Poarch Creek land-into-trust bill could help casino effort in Florida (6/23)
Cherokee Nation enters deal to run commercial casino in Arkansas (6/23)
Tohono O'odham Nation told to turn over casino-related documents (6/23)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee debates marijuana & sovereignty (6/22)
Major trust reform bill supported by Indian Country signed into law (6/22)
President Obama signs land-into-trust bill for Susanville Rancheria (6/22)
Chairman Jim Boyd from Colville Tribes passes away at age of 60 (6/22)
Tribes take more control of their land with HEARTH Act regulations (6/22)
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community adds another 128 acres (6/22)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge Reservation graduates celebrate (6/22)
Native Sun News: Year of Reconciliation sees another anniversary (6/22)
Former Fond du Lac Band chairman Peter Defoe passes on at 77 (6/22)
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.