“YOU DON’T LOOK NATIVE” - is something that bothers me greatly. I see it happen all the time, especially to Natives in the US & Canada.
Telling any Native person that they aren’t Native because they don’t fit your superficial stereotype is RACIST! Every single person pictured above is a NATIVE.
This is something that all non-Natives need to understand, there is no “Native look”.
- Not all Native women look like Disney’s “Pocahontas”.
- Not all Native men look like a Plains NDN with long flowing hair.
- Not all Natives have high cheekbones.
- Not all Natives have black straight hair. Some have brown hair, some have curly hair, some have light hair and so on.
- Yes Native men CAN grow beards and have facial hair.
- Not all Natives have brown eyes. Some have blue eyes, some have grey eyes, some have green eyes and some have hazel eyes.
- There are tall Natives and there are short Natives.
- There are dark skinned Natives, light skinned Natives and pale skinned Natives.
Airbnb has deleted two social media posts urging users to “go off the grid … in true Sioux style” by booking a tipi in the California desert.
The Instagram version of the post was geotagged to Joshua Tree National Park. The Sioux tribes are native to the American Midwest — namely Minnesota, the Dakotas and Nebraska — as well as Manitoba and Saskatchewan in Canada. Not Southern California.
Social media users lambasted what they saw as the company’s attempt to profit off a dubiously “true” Native American experience — while simultaneously ignoring the most basic facts about that experience. Read more (5/30/17)
Stereotyped vs Nuanced Characters and Audience Perception
Writing with color receives many questions regarding the stereotypes Characters of Color and their story lines may possess.
There’s a difference between having a three-dimensional character with trait variance and flaws, versus one who walks the footsteps of a role people of their race/ethnicity are constantly put into. Let’s discuss this, as well as how sometimes, while there’s not much issue with the character, a biased audience will not allow the character to be dimensional.
But first: it’s crucial to consider the thinking behind your literary decisions.
When it comes to the roles and traits you assign your characters, it’s important to ask yourself why you made them the way they are. This is especially true for your marginalized characters.
So you need an intimidating, scary character. What does intimidating look like on first brainstorm? Is it a Black man, large in size or presence? (aka a Scary Black Man) A Latino with trouble with the law? If so, why?
Really dig, even as it gets uncomfortable. You’ll likely find you’re conditioned to think of certain people in certain roles on the spot.
It’s a vicious cycle; we see a group of people represented a certain way in media, and in our own works depict them in the way we know. Whether you consciously believe it’s the truest depiction of them all or not, we’re conditioned to select them for these roles again and again. Actors of Color report on being told in auditions they’re not performing stereotypical enough and have been encouraged to act more “ethnic.”
This ugly merry-go-round scarcely applies to (cis, straight) white people as they are allowed a multitude of roles in media. Well, then again, I do notice a funny trend of using white characters when stories need a leader, a hero, royalty, a love interest…
Today’s the day to break free from this preconditioned role-assigning.
More than one-third of the Navajo Nation — which is the size of West Virginia — doesn’t have running water. And at some of the places that do, like Saint Michael’s, people don’t want to drink it because it smells, tastes funny and looks bad.
my MC is half native half white.he is not close to his culture+background because his native parent doesn’t not live with him.where he lives it is also considered by others shameful to be native because of political reasons.he later on meets a group of natives and starts to become more spiritual and happy w/ himself. is it bad to make him happy only when he starts to learn more about his heritage? is it cliche? he also starts to grow his hair at this time to feel more connected to his heritage.
Alright so. I’m going to remind everyone that if you’re going to send in a question, pick a tribe. But this question in particular is hitting a note with Indigenous cultural experience that I feel very, very necessary to address.
Forced seizure and adoption of Native individuals is a very real part of being Native. A Cree elder I spoke to is a lawyer who specializes in stopping these seizures. One particularly memorable reason she had to stop a child being taken from an “unfit parent” was the parent didn’t have laundry on site. That’s just one of many ridiculous examples that happened, and still happens to this day.
If you’re dealing with somebody mixed who doesn’t have his Native parent live with him, you’re potentially dealing with an unfair custody ruling and a whole whacking bunch of racism around the start of it. The assumption that he lives in an area where it’s shameful to be Native points to a massive lack of cultural sensitivity from the white parent, which is sadly extremely common. As a result: it would be very much not cliche to have him be happier when he reconnects with his heritage. He’s going to stop learning to be ashamed of himself and start undoing the colonial legacy of the 60s Scoop and residential schools. He could always feel conflicted about what to pick, but starting to accept part of your racial identity is a good thing! It means your self hate goes down, it means you stop feeling like you can’t exist the way you are, it means you start to breathe.
I wouldn’t treat it as a completely magic pill— the amount of work that goes into not hating part of your identity is an incredible amount— but no, it is absolutely not cliche to have reconnection= an increase in happiness.
Just please, please educate yourself on the reason Native kids are taken away from their cultures, and understand the white parent should be treated as not a very good person for putting their child through that. Because they aren’t. Teaching your child to be ashamed of their identity is abusive. While you haven’t mentioned the parent directly, that parent still moved to a place where there weren’t many other Natives and there was a cultural message of white as superior. Unless they advocated for the child’s identity, they’re an abuser, full stop.
PEOPLE HAVE NO OBLIGATION TO SHARE THEIR CULTURE WITH YOU.
Just something to keep in mind before you get on your little soap box about how ‘blending cultures will end racism!’ or whatever nonsense you want to use to speak over actual PoC so you can wear bindis or warbonnets or wear blackface.
Unless they welcome you into their culture, you are NOT welcomed into that culture. You don’t get to go into someone else’s home and start calling the shots.
Please boost What is happening with #NoDAPL and Standing Rock all over. What is happening is genocide. Do not allow this to go down in history as our collective American complicity of investing in Native/Indigenous genocide
See how J.K. Rowling can appropriate a culture and make money off of it and yet actual Native women like Joy Harjo and Joanelle Romero aren’t even allowed to embrace theirs in this industry?
Joanelle Romero is told by studio executives that nobody wants to see
Native people in a modern narrative and Joy Harjo is told to remove
Native people from her stories if she wants her stories to be a success.
But NATIVE PEOPLE are the ones who aren’t being cooperative when it
comes to representing ourselves in the media? It almost sounds like the
media has a goddamned problem with us. But what else is new?