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
Health Coverage for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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:
Indigenous activists reclaim nation's capital in defiance of Trump (4/28)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe ends appeal in Dakota Access lawsuit (4/28)
Ute Tribe demands 'voice' as Trump orders review of Bears Ears (4/28)
Senate panel takes up bill to bring AMBER Alert funding to tribes (4/28)
Gun Lake Tribe prepares for grand opening of casino expansion (4/28)
Arne Vainio: We lost a fluent Ojibwe speaker in Larry Smallwood (4/28)
Native Sun News Today: Runners from Standing Rock head to Ohio (4/28)
James Giago Davies: People tell me it's better to read about pets (4/28)
Harold Monteau: Supreme Court stirs smelly pot of fish head stew (4/28)
Steven Newcomb: 'Picking Fights' book is a must-read for Natives (4/28)
Whiteclay liquor stores must close temporarily amid court battle (4/28)
Disputed leaders of Nooksack Tribe hit by Supreme Court decision (4/27)
Indigenous activists make presence known for climate march in DC (4/27)
Interior Department announces $5.7M in tribal preservation grants (4/27)
Mark Trahant: Senate candidate cites Standing Rock as 'awakening' (4/27)
Native Sun News Today: Battle over Whiteclay liquor just beginning (4/27)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Why are we still dealing with racism today? (4/27)
Albert Bender: Navajo family still waiting on justice for loved one (4/27)
Whiteclay liquor stores win surprise court ruling on liquor licenses (4/27)
Dakota Access firm faces fines for two spills of drilling fluid in Ohio (4/27)
Gathering of Nations gets ready for annual powwow in new venue (4/27)
Secretary Zinke lacks leadership team more than a month into job (4/27)
Republicans seek to avoid shutdown with temporary spending bill (4/27)
Supreme Court ruling seen as benefit to casino bus crash lawsuit (4/27)
Mashantucket Tribe charges off-duty officer for assault at casino (4/27)
Trump singles out Bears Ears as an 'abuse' of government's power (4/26)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Let's call Columbus by what he truly was (4/26)
Native Sun News Today: Lakota youth set up beekeeping business (4/26)
Cronkite News: Trump seeks to hire thousands of border officers (4/26)
Doug Pibel: New film teaches us about value of indigenous seeds (4/26)
Jenn Weddle: 'Best possible result' from court in sovereignty case (4/26)
Peter d'Errico: Oneida architect offers indigenous approach to law (4/26)
Whiteclay liquor stores aim to stay open pending fight for licenses (4/26)
Support for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe leads to recall in Alaska city (4/26)
Mishewal Wappo Tribe loses appeal in federal recognition lawsuit (4/26)
Police use tear gas & rubber bullets at indigenous protest in Brazil (4/26)
Mohegan Tribe wants gaming disputes resolved in judicial system (4/26)
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.