S.E. Ruckman: Infomercials a new trend for tribes in Oklahoma

"Turn on the TV in Oklahoma and in between shows, you may catch the latest version of The Indian World Turns. These spots are not public television specials or soap opera reruns, either.

Thanks to Indian gaming revenues, business savvy tribes are investing in short clips (I loathe to call them commercials) that quickly educate, expand or redefine a tribe’s profile. Commercials usually plug a product so that term could loosely fit.

These clips are like the newest fad in our tribal neighborhood. One tribe started them, others followed while those without them make fun or save their money to get one. When done well, they do garner attention that augments a general pride in our fellow tribesmen.

Media perception is a powerful thing and Indian Country is no less susceptible to the onslaught of subliminal and obvious messages. On the surface, these tribal snapshots seem a triumph; who better than the tribes themselves to say that the old ideas of Indians as passive-aggressive children of Destiny are outdated?"

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S.E. Ruckman: The new trend: Tribal infomercials (The Native American Times 8/24)

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