SNL 40th Anniversary: Mike Myers and Native Imagery

In Uncategorized by Adrienne K.28 Comments

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 4.22.05 PM

This week, Saturday Night Live turned 40. The show had an epic 3.5 hour long special episode, with cameos and performances from tons of folks involved during the show’s history. I watched it last night as I was grading papers (meaning I half-watched it), and didn’t expect there to be any Native representations, because there never are (except Fred Armisen’s horribly awkward/stereotypical “Native American Comic Billy Smith” on Weekend Update)*. There were even several jokes about the lack of diversity at SNL–but solely along the lines of Black/White. Never any mention of Natives, of course.

I was excited to see a Wayne’s World sketch, because I am a nerd and use #partytimeexcellent as a personal catchphrase…and then noticed something about Wayne/Mike Myers:

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Happy 5th Birthday, Native Appropriations!

In programming note by Adrienne K.8 Comments


Hey friends, guess what? The Blog is 5! Back in January of 2010* I was a first year graduate student, and now I’m Dr. NativeApprops, and between those two milestones was a lifetime’s worth of learning, growing, finding/refining my voice, and things I could never have even imagined.

I don’t have time for a huge long reflection today, but I’m sure you’ve noticed–things are looking different around here! I finally got a chance to work on some new design elements incorporating my beautiful logo from Victor at DGTL NVJO. I’m also rolling out a new tagline (this is my new FB cover photo):

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Dear Native College Student: You are loved.

In Uncategorized by Adrienne K.11 Comments

linda hoganLinda HoganDwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World

TW: Suicide 

Dear Native College Student,

You are loved. You are loved so deeply and immensely that there are not words to convey the power of that love. Before I say any more, I want you to know that. Your ancestors love you. Your family loves you. Your friends, roommates, classmates love you. Your professors love you. Your RA loves you. The student support staff and administrators love you. We love you. And we need you. We need you here, we need you to fight, and survive and thrive. But above all else, please, please know that you are loved.

Last week, a Native student at my alma mater took his own life. When I heard the news, I was standing on top of a cliff in Hawaii overlooking the Pacific Ocean, looking out into the endless shades of blue, breathing deep and full for the first time in a long time. When I looked at my phone, I felt the familiar weight come back. The elephant that sits on my chest of worry, of fear, of concern. I silently held my friend’s arm and blinked back tears, saving them for later, when I was alone and didn’t have to express the complexity of the feelings I was holding inside.Read More

Idle No More: Two Years Later

In Uncategorized by Adrienne K.2 Comments

Today marks the two year anniversary of the Idle No More movement, so I thought I would re-visit and re-share a podcast I made of the Los Angeles Idle No More solidarity rally in December 2012. It was my first attempt at the medium, and as an avid/borderline obsessed podcast listener, I really hope I can do more of these soon! (sidenote: Have you checked out Indian and Cowboy‘s amazing selection of Native podcasts? You should. I love them all. Metis in Space is my jam.)

Anyway, here’s the original text I put with the post:Read More

Random Appropriation of the Day: Nestle Redsk*ns

In random appropriation by Adrienne K.8 Comments

redskins candy1

Reader Michelle submitted this example today–apparently Nestle Australia sells a raspberry flavored candy called “redsk*ns”.

According to all-knowing Wikipedia,

“In 1996, a complaint was made to the New Zealand Advertising Standards Complaints Board about a Redskins advertisement aired on New Zealand television. The advertisement featured comedian Mark Wright dressed in American Indian clothing and assuming an accent. A mock drumbeat featured on the soundtrack. Despite protest from Nestlé New Zealand that the advertisement was inoffensive, the Board upheld the complaint.[1]

Redskin packaging formerly featured a photo of a Native American wearing a traditional headdress. This was replaced in the late 1990s by a more neutral red character.”

Here’s one of the earlier packages, sorry for the quality:Read More

Ch-ch-ch-changes (for the better!): A new blog chapter

In programming note, Uncategorized by Adrienne K.4 Comments


Why hello friends. In the past year or so a lot has happened in the life of Native Approps, and now, as Dr. Native Approps, I’ve started a new chapter at my first big-girl job in a long time. I’ve also moved from MA to CA to AZ and now to RI, and now that I’m (relatively) settled, I want to make a recommitment to the blog and our community that has grown and developed into something so super awesome that I never could have imagined.

Back when I started the blog in 2010, I had a model of posting something *every* day, even if it was a quick “Random Appropriation,” and I want to return this regular content model (I’m trying to be realistic as well…so don’t get too excited). Here are the new “categories” I’ve been working on, and my goal is to be consistent with posts, so you can expect new things regularly (I also feel that by making this public it’s a commitment to this plan!).

Ready? Here we go:Read More

Missing the point on the Red Mesa Redsk*ns

In longform takedown by Adrienne K.3 Comments

Redskins HS

A few weeks ago, Washington Post reporter Ian Shapira covered the “controversy” around the Daily Show’s segment on the Washington Racial Slurs. I, as you may remember, was not a fan of the way the story was covered. To Shapira’s credit, he reached out to me, and several other of my Native friends involved in the Daily Show debate or conversations afterward, and offered to chat. I declined, but from what I hear, he got an earful about theways Natives are represented in the media and how and why these seemingly innocuous “angles” in reporting are very harmful. I’m being nice here. He got some angry Indians on the phone.

You’ll notice, in my first post, I didn’t actually refer to him by name. I called out WaPo as an institution for printing that piece, and made it much more about society than the reporter. But not this time, I guess.

So after Shapira’s period of learning, he decides to delve deeper into the mascot fight, by publishing this:

In Arizona, a Navajo high school emerges as a defender of the Washington Redskins

This piece makes me angry for a number of reasons. But I want to focus on a major, huge, glaring, omission from Shapira’s piece: CONTEXT. Read More

10 Days until Halloween: Step Away from the “Indian” Costume

In Halloween by Adrienne K.5 Comments


(I know you just want to look as cool as this guy. He’s SO COOL. ::eyeroll::)

Hey. It’s me again. It’s that time of year. You might be like, “Hey! What should I wear for Halloween this year?!?!” and some of you might be like, “OMG, I’ll be an INDIAN.”


Don’t know why? I’ve got 8 posts about why. Detailing every angle and possibility of why you might think it’s ok. It’s not. Feel free to peruse/browse/read/repost, and hopefully learn!

Indian costumes

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Is it time for a Native Bechdel Test?

In Uncategorized by Adrienne K.25 Comments

Native movies google

Three weeks ago*, the MacArthur foundation announced this year’s crop of “genius grant” award winners, which honored the incredible Native feminist and activist Sarah Deer, as well as 20 other amazing (and amazingly diverse) folks. Among that group was Alison Bechdel, a comic artist and author, but more commonly known for her creation of what we now call the “Bechdel Test.”

The Bechdel test is a simple test to evaluate films (and other media) for portrayals of women. To pass the test, a film must have:Read More

White tears and aggressive Indians: Native activists on the Daily Show

In longform takedown by Adrienne K.92 Comments

gregg instagram1

A couple weeks ago, a stellar, amazing group of my Native activist friends, colleagues, internet-friends, and people-I-wish-were-my-friends gathered in DC for a taping of the Daily Show (see photo above, via Gregg Deal). The episode hasn’t aired yet (I hear it might be tomorrow??), but already it’s causing a bit of a stir on the internets. The Washington Post published an article on Friday entitled, “The Daily Show springs tense showdown with Native Americans on Redskins fans”. It has since been picked up by Time, Gawker, Yahoo Sports, Uproxx and many, many other sites, though all seem to be relying on the Washington Post quotations and reporting.

You guys, I have some problems with the reporting of this. Surprised? Of course not.

So here’s the quick version: The Daily Show recruited fans of the Washington Racial Slurs via twitter to participate in a panel about the name change. They chose four of them, who sat in a hotel conference room with Jason Jones of the Daily Show for awhile, as he asked them a bunch of questions–even pulling out a dictionary to read the definition of “that word” and the like. The show also had a panel of the Native activists, asking them questions about why the name is racist, offensive, and needs to be changed. Then, the show brought the two panels together, and things, apparently, got “heated.”

Cue white lady Racial Slurs fan crying, getting up during the taping, taking off her mic, asking to rip up her consent form, going home and CALLING THE COPS the next day because she felt “threatened.”

Meanwhile, the next day, the bros of the 1491s went to the tailgate at FedEx field, where they were subject to abuse from fans yelling and confronting them.

So, you’re the Washington Post, how do you frame this story? By attempting to make us feel bad for the poor Racial Slurs fans who were “ambushed” and “threatened,” of course.

Let’s start with the headline: “The Daily Show springs tense showdown with Native Americans on Redskins fans” Not, “The Daily Show arranges showdown between Native Americans and Redsk*ns fans,” or any other more neutral framing. This immediately sets up the fans as victims to the Natives, as the innocent bystanders.

I really want to break down the whole article line-by-line, but it’s like 2,000 words…you know what? Screw it. I’m annotating the whole thing. Ready?Read More