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:
Justice Antonin Scalia dies with Indian law cases on the docket (2/13)
Lakota Country Times: Native youth work to bring relatives home (2/12)
Native Sun News: Young runners invited to compete in Australia (2/12)
Mark Trahant: Native voters are true outsiders in 2016 elections (2/12)
Lorraine Loomis: Help treaty tribes with salmon recovery efforts (2/12)
Vincent Schilling: I'm not ashamed to be a sexual assault victim (2/12)
Tara Houska: Stop stealing cultural traditions from Native people (2/12)
Burns Paiute Tribe to help assess damage from armed takeover (2/12)
Obama weighs tribal request for Bears Ears National Monument (2/12)
Study looks at rates of binge drinking among Native Americans (2/12)
President of Navajo Nation to sign bill for veterans department (2/12)
Winnebago Tribe faces opposition to Nebraska gaming initiative (2/12)
Kialegee Tribal Town stays quiet as failed casino sits unfinished (2/12)
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community eyes off-reservation casino (2/12)
Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation sees gaming revenue gains (2/12)
Lakota Country Times: Missing Oglala Sioux woman found dead (2/11)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Town repays Oneida Nation with racism (2/11)
Brandon Ecoffey: Treaties guaranteed health care for our people (2/11)
Vincent Armenta: Chumash Tribe battles opponents at every turn (2/11)
Michael Marchand: Arrow Lakes people still fighting for our rights (2/11)
Steven Newcomb: Federal Indian law based on invented realities (2/11)
Native basketball tournament bars player who lacks Indian blood (2/11)
Armed occupation of wildlife refuge in Oregon ends with arrests (2/11)
Native activists ask Obama to help with liquor sales in Whiteclay (2/11)
South Dakota lawmakers kill bill to support return of land to tribes (2/11)
Miami Nation agrees to forfeit $48M from online lending business (2/11)
Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation creates $1.2M endowment at ASU (2/11)
Colville Tribes issue citation for death of rare owl on reservation (2/11)
Fort Independence Indian Community cheated by former partner (2/11)
Paskenta Band donates $125K to buy new vehicle for firefighters (2/11)
Man pleads guilty for dealing meth on Mescalero Apache Nation (2/11)
Public high school gives up racist mascot in response to new law (2/11)
Morongo Band and San Manuel Band question fantasy sports bill (2/11)
Former Sac and Fox Nation casino employee charged with theft (2/11)
Jena Band of Choctaw Indians celebrates 3rd birthday of casino (2/11)
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation again told it can't accept casino bids (2/11)
Editorial: Measure stops Lytton Band from pursuing new casinos (2/11)
Obama seeks another increase for Indian Health Service budget (2/10)
Six of 12 Indian Health Service area directors in 'acting' capacity (2/10)
Lakota Country Times: Indian lawmakers oppose drug testing bill (2/10)
Vince Two Eagles: The rez of the story about treaty-making in US (2/10)
Kristi Noem: Indian Health Service remains in state of emergency (2/10)
Chase Iron Eyes: Real sovereigns don't disenroll their own people (2/10)
Gyasi Ross: African and Native Americans fought for their survival (2/10)
Albert Bender: Tribes should reclaim land from unratified treaties (2/10)
John Lavelle: Supreme Court weighs key tribal sovereignty issue (2/10)
Women take top three leadership positions at Menominee Nation (2/10)
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.