The letter cites multiple appearances by Hickenlooper at the One Shot Antelope Hunt in Wyoming, an event where participants compete to see who can fell an antelope in one shot. The winners dress in an imitation headdress while the losers dress as so-called "squaws," a racist term for Indigenous women. "Gov. Hickenlooper displayed an unacceptable lack of judgement in choosing to participate in this event, while disrespecting Indigenous women and appropriating traditional dress of Native peoples," says the letter.
There is no space for racism in politics, @Hickenlooper is not fit to lead.— Indigenous Environmental Network (@IENearth) June 28, 2020
Throughout the history of colonization, these tropes have been weaponized to subject Indigenous women to sexual violence and dehumanization.#dropoutHickhttps://t.co/nLWUF3Z6xp pic.twitter.com/UNa5UGQz5K
The letter's primary signatories are Tara Houska of the Couchiching First Nation Anishinaabe, Amanda Blackhorse of the Diné, Tokata Ironeyes of the Hunkpapa Lakota, Lyla June Johnston of the Diné/Tsétsêhéstâhese, Kandi White of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara, Ann Abeyta of the Enrolled Eastern Shoshone, and Joye Braun of the Cheyenne River Sioux. A number of groups, including Sunrise Movement, Converge Colorado, and the Indigenous Environmental Network joined the letter, as well as allies like Keep It in the Ground campaigner Dallas Goldtooth of the Dakota Nation and Mexica Hip-Hop artist and climate activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez. As the New York Times reported Saturday, Hickenlooper has made a number of comments that have led critics to question his views on race:
Ex4: @Hickenlooper dressed in imitative #NativeAmerican dress at the One Shot Antelope Hunt, couched as a “conservation” event, this event gathers mostly elite white men. The ”loser” of the event is dressed as they called a “squaw,” 5 of 6 pic.twitter.com/menG0wuIdl— Colorado Politico (@CO_Politico) June 28, 2020
"This is disgraceful and I hope Elizabeth Warren will consider retracting her endorsement of John Hickenlooper," People for Bernie founder Winnie Wong said on Twitter. "Coloradans deserve better." As of press time, neither Warren nor Booker's endorsement had been rescinded. Former primary candidate Lorena Garcia tweeted that though her comment should not be seen as an endorsement, she could not see Hickenlooper's primary opponent Andrew Romanoff taking part in such an event. "This is absolutely horrendous," Garcia said of the photos. "It is shameful."
.@Hickenlooper, friend of the oil & gas industry vehemently opposed by indigenous land defenders, participates a hunt where winners don headdresses & losers dress as “squaws”. Ever heard of #MMIW?— tara houska ᔖᐳᐌᑴ (@zhaabowekwe) June 28, 2020
Why are Dems endorsing this guy? @ewarren @SenBooker pic.twitter.com/XuRRjvvLAV
Note: This story originally appeared on Common Dreams. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.