Kwatsan Tribe refuses Dan Snyder’s “Blood Money”

In Uncategorized by Adrienne K.5 Comments

Kwatsan No

The past few months there have been whispers, rumors, and tales in Indian Country of Dan Snyder’s ‘people’ calling up tribal members, community organizations, and tribal councils–of offers of cash, of closed door secret meetings, of requests to fly tribal members out to DC for photo ops, of passing out team gear at powwows, of a desperate, covert PR campaign. Up until now, the stories remained just that–stories. But now we have actual proof of the inner workings of the Washington Racial Slurs “Original Americans Foundation” (OAF), and a new story of a community that had the strength to stand up when faced with an unbearable decision.

On Tuesday night, my friend Will from the Ft. Yuma Quechan (Kwatsan) community called me with the news that their community had been contacted by the OAF for a meeting the next day. I then chatted with his cousin, Kenrick Escalanti, who has, along with Will and others in the community, been working hard to raise funds for a memorial skate park for their tribal youth. Their tribal grant writer had responded to a phone survey, which had apparently tagged them for this meeting, and tagged the skatepark as a possible project.

In the Wednesday meeting, the Executive Director of OAF, Cherokee (WHY do they ALWAYS gotta be my tribe?!?!) Gary Edwards basically offered Kwatsan Media Inc. (Kenrick’s organization) a blank check, saying that they could fund the park, and had partnerships with developers who could build it as well. They brought in one such developer, who showed Kenrick digital renderings of parks, all done up in signature burgundy and gold. While they insisted that they didn’t want anything in return from the community, that OAF didn’t even have to be affiliated, they constantly brought up the fact that they have “147 projects” occurring in “over 40 tribes” throughout Indian Country, and mentioned, again, that damn backhoe that they helped buy for Omaha. Clearly, they do want the recognition.

Additionally, Mr. Edwards is super confused about who is “the opposition” to the name. He seems to think it’s only white people, and that “we” as Natives are all like him, “proud” to be a “Reds***” (which he called himself repeatedly). He told Kenrick, “The opposition is creating the old assimilation policy now being enacted today,” and even made a reference to The Lone Ranger (definitely the epitome of Native knowledge, right?), “In trying to annihilate our image its like that new Lone Ranger movie with the White Man point a gun at the Indian saying It won’t be long until its forgotten your kind ever existed on this continent.”

Right, dude, “the opposition” is trying to “annihilate our image”? What about the hundreds of Native peoples passing resolutions against the name? or the fact that Suzan Harjo (a Native woman) has been fighting your trademark since 1969? Or the fact that I have a running list of over 4000 Native peoples against the name? “Our image” if you’re speaking for the white, outsider-created image of American Indians. That is what we’re seeking to destroy.

But let’s go back to the money, and let’s think about the choice here–a choice that Native peoples in this country have had to make over, and over, and over throughout our history. We have deep and pressing needs in our communities. We have tribal members freezing to death, we have students unable to learn because their schools are falling apart at the seams, we have suicide rates 3.5 times higher than national averages. Because of centuries of colonialism, our communities have limited options. We are bridled by geographic location, federal red tape and bureaucracy, poverty, and any other number of factors. Then, outsiders come in. They offer us cash, in exchange for natural resources, for land, for mining rights, for oil–and our leaders and communities are faced with a lesser-of-two-evils choice.

Do we take the money even if it is tied to politics and choices that may negatively affect our people further down the road? Of course we would like to think “no”–but it’s not that easy. And it’s a choice we shouldn’t have to make.

In Kwatsan’s case, this skate park isn’t just about having a place for kids to skateboard. It’s tied into suicide prevention and awareness, creating a space for the community to reflect and talk about the issue as well. So here’s a billionaire (Edwards mentioned in the meeting that Snyder is a “billionaire over again”) offering to build the park now, creating that space immediately, saying they don’t need their named tied to it or even to be mentioned.

Quechan skate

But Kenrick said no. They escorted the OAF team off the reservation quickly, not letting them hang around, not welcoming them, not letting them feel they were doing something “good” for the Indians. That act is one that needs to be applauded. Kenrick says, “We say no. There are no questions about this. We will not align ourselves with an organization to simply become a statistic in their fight for name acceptance in Native communities. We’re stronger than that and we know bribe money when we see it.”

It just disgusts me, as someone who cares deeply about how are communities are represented, that this is the choice we are forced to weigh. The media has created a “hierarchy of needs” in our communities around the mascot issue, saying that we have “more important” issues to worry about than mascots, and this is a message that has been internalized by many of us as well. Then throw the money of a billionaire behind it, “helping” us decide what our “real” issues are–what are we supposed to do?*

The Quechan Memorial Skate Park plans exist because suicide is so rampant in our communities. Many Native children suffer from low self esteem, feelings of low community worth, and limited visions of possible selves. You know what contributes to all of those feelings? Indian mascots. I’m not making that up–the research backs me up. The OAF funding the park, to me, is like a bully trying to fund an anti-bulling project while continuing their behavior unchanged.

But now we have a chance to look at this from a very positive direction–Kwatsan tribal members have stepped up. They’ve refused what Kenrick is calling “bribe money” and “blood money,” and have made public the backwards actions and thinking of the OAF and its director. Now the youth in their community can look to the leadership and see them making a stand, saying they care about how their people are represented, and that they don’t want to be associated with a racial slur and ongoing stereotyping of Native peoples. That is a representation their youth can be proud of, and a model they can emulate moving forward.

Now it’s our turn to support The Quechan Memorial Skate Park, to show Dan Snyder that Indian Country and its supporters can take care of our own, and that we don’t and won’t stand for forcing tribes to co-sign on a racist name and depiction of Native peoples in order to gain desperately needed resources in our communities. Donate here:

And all that BS, Mr. Edwards, about us disappearing if mascots disappear? Take a look around. Over 500 years of colonialism have tried to erase us from the planet. Yet we are still here. If we survived war, famine, disease, cultural genocide, termination, relocation, loss of land and resources, we certainly will survive when your beloved sports franchise removes its racist name and depiction from the side of its helmets. I, personally, would like to be associated with speaking truth to power and the ongoing vibrancy of our communities rather than an ancient stereotype “honoring” a fictional archetype that reeks of imperialist nostalgia. But maybe that’s just me.


Just as I’ve been writing this post, the story is getting great coverage, much thanks to EONM and their press release which can be found here. A statement from Kenrick and his organization, along with the ongoing coverage can be found here. This USA Today piece is great, and makes it clear, which I was unaware of, that the tribe itself is still weighing their options (though Kwatsan Media is adamant in their opposition). 


*Note: I also don’t want to seem that I’m criticizing the tribes that have decided to partner with OAF. Those are decisions I don’t know anything about, and I also can’t possibly, as an outsider to those communities, understand their decisions and needs. They have the right to decide.


Also, I’ll be moderating comments. Here are the comments I’ll be deleting: Anything that says “get over it” in any form, anything that says we have “bigger issues” to worry about (I answered that here if you’re curious), anything that makes a reference to you being Irish/Viking/other non-marginalized group and not caring about those mascots, anything that says “you wouldn’t do it if it were <insert other racial group>, and anything that can be found on this bingo card. Hooray!


Who has spoken out against the Redsk*ns?

In Uncategorized by Adrienne K.23 Comments


As I’m sure you know by now, on Wednesday, June 18th, the US Trademark and Patent office officially cancelled the Redsk*ns trademark, calling the name “disparaging to Native Americans.” It was a huge win, 22 years in the making. In the aftermath, there have been hundreds of articles, tons of news commentary, and people saying a whole lot of racist BS in defense of the name. But as it all has swirled, I kept wanting a collective list of ALL the folks who have spoken out against the team name. So I decided to make one.

I got started and realized that even with my browser bookmarks and resources, there’s no way I could get everything. So I need your help. This is just the framework/start, but I want to crowdsource filling in the rest. Send me links in the comments or on FB, and I’ll plug them in where they belong. Especially if your tribe has spoken out. I know there are more, but the news doesn’t tend to cover tribal voices nearly as much as celebrities and professional athletes.

Here we go!

ETA (6/23): has an ongoing list as well! I should have known my idea was not unique. Check it out. Great resource.

(American Indian Sports Team Mascots (AISTM) has a couple of great running lists as well–and you can see these go back to the early/mid 1990’s. List 1, List 2.)

Tribal Councils/Tribal Leaders/Tribal Members (thanks to for a lot of these)


National Organizations (Native):


National Organizations (non-Native):

Publications (This is lifted mostly from’s list compiled by Andrew Beaujon):






Celebrities/Other Public Figures 

Ok, now your turn–who am I missing? I know there are more. Share in the comments, and this list will be constantly updated as more articles come out! 

Update! Are you a Native individual who wants to lend your name to the fight? (Because all the haterz say we don’t exist…)

Check out the full constantly-updating list of Native individuals against the Redsk*ns here:


*= kinda weaksauce support, like “I’m on the side of doing what’s right” or “I’d think about changing it,” not necessarily explicit THE NAME IS RACIST kinda thing.

**=passed resolutions against Native mascots generally, not just the Redsk*ns

Indigenous Fine Art Market: a market for the People by the People

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Backstory: a few months ago, John Torres Nez stepped down from the board of Southwestern Association for Indian Art Market (SWAIA). In the wake of his departure, a new, Native-run art market as emerged, called the Indigenous Fine Art Market (IFAM). I sat down with one of my AZ loves Nanibaa Beck, one of the members of the artist advisory group for the market, to talk about what IFAM is striving to achieve, and where the roots of this movement lie. You know I’m all about Native representations, and IFAM represents a huge shift to self-control and self-representation in the Native Art world, so I’m happy to support! 

Nanibaa and I push aside the remains of our breakfast at a cafe in Phoenix, and make a concerted switch from “friend mode” to settle into “business mode”—I pull out my notebook, a black artist’s sketchbook covered in stickers from Native companies and causes, and Nanibaa pulls out a small pocket sized notebook, edges worn and curling from use—where she has written down “key words” to prompt her as we talk about the origins and direction of IFAM.

Nanibaa comes from a family of artists, her father, Victor Beck, has been showing and selling jewelry in SWAIA for most of Nanibaa’s life, and it was through his jewelry her family makes their livelihood. She jokes that he “knew he had to sell at least two coral necklaces” every year at SWAIA  to pay for his two daughter’s school tuition. This year would have been Nanibaa’s first year showing her own jewelry at the market alongside her dad, her budding company “NOTABOVE Jewelry” (a play on a mispronunciation of her name, but also a reminder to stay humble) has taken off in the last year, focusing on pieces featuring indigenous languages, at price points accessible to a wide audience. Today I’m sporting my “ha’átíí?!” necklace from her line, which means “What?!” in Navajo. I love it, because it represents my near-constant reaction to the stream of celebrity headdresses and cultural appropriation that I come across. But Nanibaa won’t be exhibiting next to her dad this year, she’ll be manning her own booth and chairing the fashion programming at a new Native art market in Santa Fe, the Indigenous Fine Arts Market (IFAM).

When Nanibaa learned of John Torres Nez’s departure from SWAIA, she bounded into action, starting an online petition to first support his reinstatement, but then shifting to support a new market, “for the People and by the People.” The petition outlines goals for the “new market”:

 – To restructure how an organizational Board and the Native artist community work with one another. This would create a form of direct artist involvement in the decisions of the Board.

- To reorganize how the whole staff works with artists, changing the focus of the organization on the artists and not the organization’s own branding.

- To rework a Native arts market’s relationship with the City of Santa Fe that is benefiting for the artists

- To create an organization and market that is fiscally responsible and doesn’t take unnecessary risks with the generous donations of supporters.

- Ultimately, we want a new market that is stable in both organization and structure so that Native artists will have a livelihood for generations from now.

As supporters and artists began to discuss a SWAIA without Torres Nez, the goal moved from reinstatement to creating something new and completely different—an art market envisioned, designed, and controlled by Indigenous peoples. The last two months have been a whirlwind of planning, and the amount that the IFAM team has been able to accomplish is such a short amount of time is staggering. It feels like this has been something a long time coming—and Nanibaa affirms this. She tells me that there have been groups of people thinking about and pushing for something like IFAM for years, “but now social media has provided the vehicle for this to happen.”

In two months, the group has managed to secure dates (August 21-23, 2014), secure a location (The Railyard in Santa Fe), create a website (here), create a process for artist selection (artists already juried into SWAIA are automatically admitted to IFAM, others will go through an application process), create an artist advisory group, begin planning for concurrent youth programming (headed by Courtney Leonard), and involve other movers and shakers in Indian Country (Doug Miles of Apache Skateboards is on board, and Culture Shock Camp’s Brian Frejowill be running the performance stage, with more to come), and create a kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the market.

I ask Nanibaa how IFAM is different than SWAIA, and she is careful to contextualize the relationship between the two markets. The dates overlap on one day (Saturday) yet artists and audiences can participate in both, and she feels they are reaching out to different demographics as well. She sees IFAM as a “challenge,” rather than “competition” to the current model. She says, “[This is] not a competition, it’s a challenge to ourselves to use our abilities we’ve been able to gather through the years as creative, capable, career oriented, connected people…not feeling like we have to resign ourselves to the status quo and current direction of what an art market should be like.” She also adds with a laugh, “It can’t be in opposition. It’s a way to push the younger generation, get a different demographic involved—not everyone can afford a $20,000 necklace.”

So how is IFAM different than SWAIA? Nanibaa turns to her notebook and keywords.

“Inclusion,” she begins. IFAM is open to citizens of tribal nations in the US, as is SWAIA, but they also are welcoming First Nations artists from Canada, as well as Native Hawaiian artists.

“The mission of SWAIA, historically, has focused mainly on southwestern art, so IFAM is seeking to expand that focus,” Nanibaa adds, noting how artists such as Kristen Dorsey (Chickasaw) who incorporates Southeastern Native designs into her work, and Courtney Leonard (Shinnecock), a ceramicist, have been on the advisory team from the beginning.

This leads to her second keyword, “diversity,” SWAIA has nurtured and supported southwestern Native art to be where it is today, and Nanibaa and the IFAM team hope that IFAM can provide that nurturing and support for other Native artists and art styles. Because of SWAIA’s prominence and influence, it can often feel that the Native art market is dominated by southwestern styles, so I think the goal of supporting and bolstering other regional styles is much needed. Nanibaa adds that they’re thinking not just diversity of styles and materials, but “also diversity of Indigenous knowledge from each of these artists.”

Her final keyword is “Indigenous knowledge,” and I think that beyond the sharing of traditional Indigenous Knowledges through art and expression, the goals and vision of IFAM truly support contemporary Indigenous knowledge—the business knowledge, the event planning knowledge, the networking knowledge—all the skills and knowledge we have in Indian Country. This is a chance to leverage all of that.

The staff of IFAM is all fresh off of SWAIA, bringing their experience from the years of working for the market. But the goal is not just a three day market. The goal is to turn the “M” in IFAM from “market” to “movement.” Nanibaa says, “Tradition is not static, it’s vibrant. If you think about ‘Movement’ like the movement of water, it’s going to move, adapt, and change…so we can think about movement as tradition.” The IFAM team hopes that the new market and movement can be forward-thinking, but not just in a linear, Western conception. Forward-thinking as fresh and contemporary, but with respect to origins and “where we come from.” This idea made me think of something that my advisor said of my Native students in my dissertation study, that they were “looking backwards into the future.” Native art has long been controlled by non-Native outsiders (though there are notable exceptions, of course), but I think it’s high time that Native folks carve out a space on a large scale that can be looked to as an example of the power of Native people coming together to challenge the status quo.

We have so many mis-representations and stereotypes to deal with, I’m all for Native peoples representing ourselves in ways that we design and have full control over. I think IFAM falls right into my campaign of #positiverepresentations!

So how can you get involved? Support the IFAM Kickstarter here, checkout the website here, and if you’re an artist, volunteer, or food vendor looking to get involved, look at this section of the IFAM website.

Update (6/13): The Kickstarter didn’t make the goal, but you can still donate via PayPal, and donations are much needed!


IMG_1300 (1)

Lots of background press on IFAM for your reading pleasure:

IFAM on National Native News (at 2:00 mark)
IFAM Announces Santa Fe Railyard as Venue, Launches Website / Indian Country Today Media Network
Mavericks: Trio Founds IFAM to Challenge Santa Fe Indian Market / Indian Country Today Media Network
New Indian Market / KOAT Channel 7 News
Make Way for the Indigenous Fine Art Market / Santa Fe Reporter
Indigenous Fine Art Market announces schedule and plans for Santa Fe launch / The Examiner 
Departing SWAIA staffers launch new market for Native artists / Albuquerque Journal
Ex-SWAIA leaders plan new market / Santa Fe New Mexican

 (Much love and thanks to Nanibaa for sitting down with me!)

Dear Christina Fallin

In Uncategorized by Adrienne K.223 Comments

photo 1

Dear Christina Fallin,

Last night, someone tagged me in the comments of your post on Instagram, a picture of you wearing dark red lipstick and a coordinating warbonnet. Initially, I just rolled my eyes and closed the window, because since I’ve somehow become an “expert” on white girls in headdresses, I get sent pictures like yours pretty much every. single. day. Don’t believe me? Just glance at the “#indianheaddress” tag. But then I got an email, then another, and another, and another, and then realized that this one was different–because you, Christina, are daughter of Oklahoma’s Governor.

I’ve written a lot of these letters. I’ve written them to Drew Barrymore, to Paul Frank, to my local YMCA, to generic party-goers, and more. I’ve also written a whole post about why you can’t wear a hipster headdress. I’d encourage you to read these posts.

But you see Christina, while a lot of those folks I wrote those letters to came at this from a place of ignorance (which doesn’t excuse it by any means), you knew that putting on that headdress would be controversial. You titled your photo “Appropriate Culturation” which means you are aware of the concept of cultural appropriation, and knew that Native peoples would be hurt by your choice, and you did it anyway.

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No Oscar for redface–but is that progress?

In Uncategorized by Adrienne K.9 Comments


I half-heartedly watched the Oscars last night. There were definitely years when I was younger where I eagerly looked forward to the night, waiting for the red carpet coverage, ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the pretty dresses…but once I became a grown up who thinks about race, racism, white privilege, and representations of Natives all the time, it was like the shiny Oscars had lost their glow. Now, to me, they represent the perfect microcosm of society–an institution with a long history of discriminating against People of Color that now pretends that racism is a thing of the past, while continuing to discriminate against People of Color.

As you may remember, there were a couple of Oscar nominations that rubbed me the wrong way a few months back (Here’s the full post). The Lone Ranger got nominated for “Best Makeup and Hairstyling,” when the only “makeup” going on was Johnny Depp dressed up in redface. Then there was the best song fiasco for “Alone Yet Not Alone”, which is a colonial-christian-fantasy film that paints Natives as evil savages, but luckily that got taken care of on a technicality.

Last night, when the category came up for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, I held my breath. Luckily, the award went to Dallas Buyers Club, which had an overall budget of $250 FOR THE WHOLE MAKEUP FOR THE WHOLE MOVIE (ETA: Dallas Buyers Club is not without controversy over representations as well. There are folks in the trans* community who are very unhappy about the ways their community was portrayed in the film). Not that it looked like Lone Ranger spent any more than that with JD’s day-after-halloween-slept-in-your-facepaint look. But anyway.Read More

Indigenous New Media–What are your thoughts?

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new media


(Awesome logo by Jessica Harjo for the Indigenous New Media Symposium THIS FRIDAY Feb 21st)

When I started Native Appropriations in 2010, I started it as a place to catalogue random images of Native peoples I was seeing in my everyday life. I wanted a place where I was able to express my thoughts about how those images made me feel, and a place that could serve as a repository for the growing examples of “Tribal Fashion” that I was seeing in stores and online. I felt kinda alone and silenced in my East-Coast-Ivy-League-world, so I turned to the internet to find others who were interested in similar issues and would help me learn how to push back on these images and ideas.

Fast forward four years, 283 posts, 4,283 comments, 2.75 million pageviews, 40,000 FB fans, and 7,019 tweets (yikes–maybe I need to tweet less). Now I’ve been invited to speak at this amazing Indigenous New Media Symposium this week, and I’m getting the chance to reflect and ask–So what does this all mean?

In a perfect world I would have put this question to all of you a lot earlier, but I turned in my dissertation (draft) on Friday(!!!), and part of the draw of social media is the speed with which things move, so hey. Let’s talk.

I’ve been tasked at the symposium to talk about how New Media* and tools such as FB, IG, Twitter, Soundcloud, YouTube, etc have provided new ways to challenge perception and policy–and create tangible change–in the areas of cultural appropriation and cultural ownership (eg all the things we talk about on Native Approps).

I have a basic framework for my presentation, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on all this.

  • How has (or has it?) the internet changed the way you think about cultural appropriation, cultural ownership, and representations?
  • How have you seen Native folks been able to harness the power of social media to make change in these areas?
  • Is any of this worth it? (I’m serious. I think I and a lot of other people who talk about representations get a lot of hate from Natives and non-Natives alike who say these issues “don’t matter” or accuse us of only being “reactionary” or “complaining”–what do you think?)

Just some random questions to get you thinking. Feel free to add in whatever random thoughts you have–I’m also talking about this on twitter today, so feel free to tweet me! You are also invited to participate in the conversation during the symposium (it will be live streamed) with the #indnewmedia hashtag, and questions for the Q&A will come from social media too (#indnewmediaQ).

I love that we’re at the point that we can be self-reflective and think about the future of Indigenous New Media. The nerd in me is so excited about this conversation that I can’t even handle it. I’m also feeling the pressure to be all thought-provoking and have my ish together…which is good!

I’m looking forward to meeting some of you on Friday and Saturday, and I can’t thank the incredible organizers of the symposium–Thelma, Cody, and Alex–enough. They’ve pulled together an amazing event.

So friends, readers, Natives…what does Indigenous New Media mean to you? What does the community around Native Appropriations/cultural appropriation/representations mean to you? What are some examples of where you think this type of activism works? Where doesn’t it work?

As always, thanks so much for your support and love–without all of you I’d just be shouting into the dark internet ether, and I don’t think that would get anything done, do you?

*Wikipedia (oh what a scholarly source) describes New Media as: “on-demand access to content anytime, anywhere, on any digital device, as well as interactive user feedback, and creative participation. Another aspect of new media is the real-time generation of new, unregulated content.”

“Proud to Be”: NCAI’s answer to the R-word mascot debate

In Uncategorized by Adrienne K.12 Comments

Screen shot 2014-02-01 at 11.35.46 AM

I’ve been sent this video a bazillion times in the last few days, and I think it’s a powerful and important PSA to add to the mascot “debate”*. I’ve watched it a few times through, and the message by the end is incredibly clear, and I love the final shot of the helmet, without having to say the R-word, asking the viewer to say the word in their head and contrast it to the beautiful images shown throughout the clip. So before I go on, I want you to watch the video for yourself:Read More

They give out oscars for racism now?

In Uncategorized by Adrienne K.70 Comments


Shhh. Don’t tell my committee I’m blogging. My dissertation is due, like, reallllllly soon. Just a quick post. I promise.

Today, the list of nominees for the Academy Awards was released. I would just like to draw your attention to two of them.

“Best Makeup and hairstyling”: THE LONE RANGER. (What?!?! arghabduVBIDslfdjlkm)


“Best Song”: “Alone yet not Alone” from the movie “Alone yet not Alone” (We’ll get to this in a minute. hold on. it’s a doozy.)

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10 examples of Indian mascots “honoring” Native peoples

In indian mascots, mascots, Uncategorized by Adrienne K.22 Comments

Sonic drive in MO

Indian mascots, they’re totes honoring to Native peoples, right? That’s what fans always tell us, at least. Inspired by this image above posted on twitter, from a Sonic in Benton, MO, I decided to take some time to compile a list of just a few instances of how these mascots totally “honor” Native people. This is just from memory, btw. There are so, so, so many more.

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So your friend dressed up as an Indian. Now what?

In Uncategorized by Adrienne K.124 Comments


Indians 1

Let’s set the scene. You walk into school/work/a halloween party and are having an awesome day cause it’s Halloween and you are wearing an awesome costume on that has something to do with a current event (without doing something like this or this), or a play on words, or a nerdy reference…because those are the best kind of costumes, duh. Then, in the middle of your joyous revelry, you spot it. Across the room. A friend (or acquaintance, or stranger, let’s not discriminate), dressed as an “Indian.” You know what it looks like. The “buckskin,” the beads, the feathers–probably a headdress of some sort. Maybe some warpaint. Then, if you’re anything like me, you mentally go, “aw, @#$%.”

So now let’s shift to what I go through in these situations, and all of the steps and checks I go through before I engage. Because, as I’ve mentioned before, despite my ability to talk about these issues on here day in and day out, I’m bad at these conversations in real life. I’m getting better, though. Remind me to tell you sometime about my encounter with a Fox News correspondent at DFW airport…

Step one: Who is the person dressed up as an Indian? 

I’ll take a second look. Do I know them? How well do I know them? Are they older than me? Are they younger than me? Are they under the age of 10 (so clearly their parents dressed them)? Is it my boss or someone who has a position of authority that can affect my future life/career?

All of those pieces change the way I’ll approach the situation. I don’t scold children (duh. please don’t go yell at a three year old about cultural appropriation). I think carefully about how my encounter with this person can play out in my future relationships. No one likes to be told they’ve done something hurtful, and these conversations are sticky no matter what. So I do take the time to stop and think. None of those situations stop me from talking to the person (except maybe the babies)–I just approach it differently.Read More