Oh wait! I got it. I talked to my friend, who knows way more about archaeology than I could ever hope to and she explained to me that a lot of individuals use artifacts without even trying to contact the group who has ownership of them. Wow. This seems like a major problem. :( I guess when I think of a lot of things that I've seen in museums, I never really considered how many of the items were stolen by archaeologists and historians. :( I'm sorry if I bothered you with my stupidity.
No, you didn’t bother us with your ask! :]
What I would ask is that non-Indigenous PoC think about what they reblog critically, and to avoid using Indigenous cultures as “inspiration” or reblogging historical artefacts for solely aesthetic purposes. A lot of times this makes aspects of Indigenous cultures accessible to appropriation by whites. Our aesthetics have specific histories, contexts, and meanings, some of which are deeply religious.
On the other hand, whites should not be reblogging anything about Indigenous peoples that isn’t about education or their historical and ongoing struggles worldwide. It’s really gross to see white folks reblogging stuff like random B&W photos of old Native chiefs, just because it’s seen as magical, or exotic or whatever. This stuff leads directly to white folks appropriating culture. And then when Indigenous folks want to take part in their culture, they’re forbidden.
“…[S]ettlers continuously seek to capitalize on what they understand as their country’s own ‘native’ resources, which include Indigenous cultures and peoples themselves.”
—Decolonizing Feminism: Challenging Connections between Settler Colonialism and Heteropatriarchy. Maile Arvin, Eve Tuck, and Angie Morrill
“…[T]he logics of Western philosophy … are premised on the self-determined subject’s aspirations to achieve universality. Consequently, Native studies often rests on a Native subject awaiting humanity. In other words, if people simply understood Native peoples better, Natives would then become fully human-they would be free and self-determining … Native studies thus becomes trapped in ethnographic multiculturalism, what Silva describes as a ‘neoliberal multicultural’ representation that ‘includes never-before-known consciousness’. This representation which attempts to demonstrate Native peoples’ worthiness of being universal subjects, actually rests on the logic that Native peoples are equivalent to nature itself, things to be discovered that have an essential truth or essence. In other words, the very quest for full subjecthood implicit in the ethnographic project to tell our ‘truth’ is already premised on a logic that requires us to be objects to be discovered. Furthermore, within this colonial logic, Native particularity cannot achieve universal humanity without becoming ‘inauthentic’ because Nativeness is already fundamentally constructed as the ‘other’ of Western subjectivity.”
—Queer Theory and Native Studies: the heteronormativity of settler colonialism.