Friday, May 2, 2008

Humor and Pretend Indians

Each school season thousands of public school children nationwide are subjected to the stereotyping of American Indians, along with being taught a mixture of twisted traditions and history. The nationwide general public is often subjected to the same misrepresentations at public library programs, wannabe activities, and events such as diversity fairs. Some of the pretend Indian organizations have gone as far as establish an “American Indian Education Task Force” to help them reach into the public school system. Churches, such as the United Methodist Churches in Ohio, also join in the fray to spread misinformation.

The same misrepresentations can also creep into university and college Native American studies, such as at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.

If a person can stand back for a moment and try to disregard the extreme damage fake tribes, pretend “Indian Chiefs”, and wannabe Indian professors do during their presentations, these can also be quite humorous. Two examples follow.

Pupils at the Ortona Elementary School in Daytona Beach, Florida, were given this entertaining impression of Cherokee Indians that was delivered during a 2004 Thanksgiving program “dispelling myths” that was given by “Chief Little Red Wolf” of the “Indian Creek Band of the Chickamauga Creek and Cherokee" located in Florida.


Perhaps the very best and most endearing photo I have ever seen is this one. This guy is part of Manataka’s “Bear Society of Arkansas“. His costume reminds me of a Teddy Bear I once has as a child. I couldn’t help myself from bursting out in laughter when I first saw it.

As ridiculous as some of the actions and presentations given by pretenders might seem, these folks are dead serious when creating their own brand of Indian traditions and history. School educators and the general public are often ill equipped to be able to discern truth from fiction. While presentations can be quite humorous to those who know better, they also contain an element that is deadly to the American Indian.

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