My school is Central Michigan University and we are the “Chippewas”. The reason that we are allowed to keep this mascot is because we have agreed to not use any depictions of Native Americans on our clothing or in our sports and we have agreed to take extra efforts to educate the student body on Native American culture and Native American issues. This was all hammered out with the Chippewa Indian Tribe that owns a reservation very close to our school.
As apart of this educational campaign all freshmen and transfer students have to attend an educational assembly on cultural appropriation and racism as it applies to First Nation people. It’s a really good assembly and really through. They went over everything from war bonnets to offensive chants, and why those things were bad and offensive.
We also include the issues and history of Native Americans in virtually all our classes.
So what I want to know, is why, after ALL that.
I still counted numerous “Sexy Indian” costumes last night.
I don’t know what more we can do to make people understand that that is not okay. That it’s offensive, wrong, and culturally inappropriate. Are people purposely ignoring the messages? Do they not care? Are they forgetting?
I don’t understand.