Native Cultural Appropriation = America’s blind spot

(Un)learned

Rebecca Sanchez

Native American graduate student, educator, artivist

Based in Long Beach

Follow on twitter @Yaqui_Woman

Being Indian is a responsibility, not a fashion statement.

We live in a society where k-12 students learn more about the diversity of dinosaurs than they do of the original peoples of this land.  Due to their limited exposure, most Americans’ perceptions of Native people are limited to kindergarten construction paper feather headdress and Edward Curtis photos from the early 1900s.  The most popular mental images will undoubtedly be of the noble savage in full feather “war bonnets,” the type hipsters try to emulate at Coachella.  These individuals claim to “respect,” “appreciate,” or dare I say, “love” Native American culture (as if there was only one) and of course they mean no offense, right?  They love what they perceive as Native American culture, yet they remain completely ignorant of Native peoples and the…

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