Native American ppl: how do we feel abt mohawks? My bf and I were just talking abt it and his middle school actually implemented a rule that only Native American ppl can wear Mohawks. Is it cultural appropriation if a non-native person wears it? I will only accept answers from Native American ppl on this btw
Synopsis: Set in the fictional city called Simnicity (Sim + Ethnicity), the series follows the stories of local residents as they go about their daily lives in Willow Springs.
Please excuse my poor grammar, so I’m currently developing a storyline for these characters at the moment. The only 11 of these are major characters with big storylines focusing important issues such as racism, history, identity, crime and cultural difference. Hopefully, it will be 10-episode series with 15 minutes each. I’m working with a friend (currently, looking for a few more people) who is part of this story development to give a justice. Stay tuned!
List of Characters:
The Jackson Family (African American)
Tiana Jackson (Teenage Sister)
Darrell Jackson (Father)
Regina Jackson (Mother)
The Khan Family (Pakistani)
Juwairiyah Begum (Wife)
Alaaudeen Khan (Son)
Khairiya Khan (Daughter)
Saleemah Khan (Teenage Sister)
The Chozhangaraayar Family (Indian)
Dhanasree Chozhangaraayar (Mother)
Shmit Chozhangaraayar (Father)
Jiara Chozhangaraayar (Teenage Sister)
The Hernández Family (Mexican)
Sofía Hernández (Young Sister)
Juan Hernández (Teenage Brother)
Mariela Hernández (Mother)
The Svensson Family (Swedish)
Björn Svensson (Father)
Evelina Svensson (Step-Mother)
The O'Donoghue/O’ Brolchain Family (Irish-Scottish)
I think that one of my favorite things as a kid was right after a powwow my ma and I decided to go with her then fiance to an ice cream shop with some of our regalia and leathers still on. Out of nowhere a little girl comes out, points and yells:
“LOOK MOMMY! INDIANS!”
My ma without missing a beat turned around, pointed at her and screamed, “LOOK JEFF! A WHITE GIRL!”
Nobody fucking cares about Native Americans and I am so fucking tired of it.
If your political justice and change for poc doesn’t include justice and change for natives, it is not just and never fucking can be. None of you include natives. I have never seen a single person on this goddamn website that wasn’t Native give a lick of a fuck about us. How dare all of you advocate for change and justice yet ignore a group of people who have been suffering and screaming for it for CENTURIES.
Y'all live on a land stolen from all of us by a literal fucking genocide, and while we still suffer every day centuries later, yall turn the blindest fucking eye you can. I’m sorry, but I am absolutely fucking disgusted at this website that paints itself as inclusive’s treatment of natives. None of y'all are any fucking better than the Canadian government.
Absolutely fuck all of y'all for painting urself with an image of poc inclusivity when you don’t give a fuck about anyone other than certain types of poc meanwhile we’re suffering in silence, a silence forced upon us that can never be broken not because we don’t scream loud enough, but because people ignore our screams. Every. Fucking. Day.
Flint hasn’t had clean water since 2014, a tragedy, sure. But as early as 2016 efforts were being made to end the crisis, it had caught international attention.
The reserve my own family lives on has not had clean water since TWO THOUSAND AND EIGHT, 2008, and it’s almost a decade later. Nothing has been done. Not a single thing has been done, regardless of protests, petitions, etc.
Also, there’s 80+ other reserves without clean water, some without for as long or longer than my rez. Why aren’t these reserves getting clean water despite our country (Canada) having more than enough water and resources to do so? Because the government doesn’t care. Because the majority races don’t care.
Because nobody cares for Native issues other than Natives, and we are fucking dying because of it.
The governmental silence is extending our genocide (which only ended in the 90s with the closing of the last residential school, by the actual fucking way), and the silence of everyone else isn’t fucking helping either.
You say we don’t riot enough. We don’t raise enough of a fuss, it’s our fault for being ignored. To that I, and likely every other Native says: Fuck you and everyone else who’s ever said that, you disgust me.
It is your fault for ignoring us, you being the white people who turn a blind eye, you being the other poc who turn a blind eye, you being the other poc who blame us for not being as successful in their social change as they are, you being anyone who tells us “just get over it”.
It is not the fault of native Americans that we were genocided and apartheid for essentially all of our modern history. It is not the fault that our cultures and communities are still broken from the genocide, that we’re trying to recover in a system tailor made for our failure.
If you want to deny that you’re killing us just as fast as the government by ignoring our cries for help year after year, tragedy after tragedy, that’s fine. But don’t you dare claim to be inclusive if your inclusivity doesn’t include Native Americans, don’t you fucking DARE to claim to care about the welfare of poc when a genocide is still continuing because of your fucking willful ignorance.
can i hear more about the class you hijacked? (this doesnt have to be private)
I actually got out of bed just so I could go full rant about this on my computer, so y’all buckle up (thank you for giving me this opportunity lololol)
Okay, so this happened about a year, maybe a year and a half ago. I’m gonna go ahead and make this one public for the benefit of those that didn’t follow me back then, if that’s cool.
Let me preface this by saying that I had taken literally every one of the professor’s classes before then. Partly because they were the only anthropology style class the uni offered, and partly because halfway through the second class I realized that literally everything was the same, except the books, which we never used. Even the assignments were the same, and I had perfected a system of how to do those quickly, easily, and last-minute, lol. So it was pretty much the definition of an easy A, and the prof liked me bc I was nice, actually listened to her even though I’d heard it all before, and didn’t rat her ass out for not actually teaching what she was supposed to, lol.
I should’ve known right there.
So when there was an opportunity to take a Native Americans in North America class with her, I jumped on it. I needed the hours, I obviously knew a lot on the subject already, and it would be another easy a, if history was anything to go by.
It became one of the most frustrating classes I have ever taken.
As always, the class started the same as the others. We started out learning about vocab and models. NBD, we’d get to specifics eventually, right?
Now there are about 16 to 18 weeks in your average semester.
By week 6 we had yet to learn anything about Native history. She’d assigned some reading about the moundbuilder’s archeological sites, but nothing about the modern day. Maybe she was just taking it slow, I thought, though I was bothered by her only talking about Natives in the past tense. But she’d told me in the first class I’d taken with her (years ago by now) that she was enrolled Native, so I didn’t call it out immediately.
We get to week 8, halfway through the semester, she hadn’t covered anything. No mention of treaties, modern movements for civil rights, AIM (American Indian Movement), the illegal overthrow of Hawai’i, buffalo kill offs, smallpox blankets, Chicago museum’s bullshit, NAGPRA (a law protecting grave sites and demanding the return of remains to their Nation by museums and sites, if the Nation will accept them (sometimes they allow the remains to be housed by the museum bc they’re typically more secure there, but that’s very rare)) beyond how it affected archeologists, the different regions, the language families, ghost dance, the flooding of lands by companies illegally, human zoos, RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS, THE FUCKING TRAIL OF TEARS, NOTHING.
Like your 4th grade history segment, as racist as it probably was, probably was more informative than this bitch was being, okay? And I was getting mad. Y’all know me. Native activism is a huge part of my life, and has been for years. Students were being allowed to say really racist shit unchecked. The prof wasn’t teaching jack. Misinformation was being spread, even by the prof.
It felt like even in a class dedicated to us, we didn’t matter. Our history didn’t matter.
I was fed up.
Then, she pissed me the absolute fuck off. She proceeded to spend the rest of the class talking about South America.
Now, our Indigenous family below the equator absolutely deserve to be discussed. They have so many issues that really, really need to be boosted and respected. We do not raise their voices often enough. But this was a class specifically about North America, and her reasoning for making it otherwise was racist in so many ways.
First, she changed the curriculum outside of its scope because she was “MORE INTERESTED IN SOUTH AMERICA, AND WOULD HAVE TO DO RESEARCH TO TALK ABOUT” the issues I was publicly demanding to know when she would cover. As if her personal interest and ignorance were more important than our lives.
(side note, it turns out she was lying about being enrolled and Native. Her white supremacist brother (not even kidding) had said that a Cherokee woman chief in Minnesota or some shit had enrolled them. I asked her if she meant Wilma Mankiller, the first modern female Cherokee chief. She said no, it was someone else, and in the late nineties, after Wilma would’ve no longer been Chief. I publicly called her out, and even another student jumped in to help, because there was no other woman Chief then, and there was no recognized Nation that far North. Her white supremacist brother had lied bc he felt othered while working near the Din’e on a job site, bc they didn’t include his racist ass, lol. So she’d lied her way into being allowed to teach a class she didn’t even know or care about. So at this point, I was fucking done with her, lol)
She also was showing us old propaganda films, and literally every group she discussed was being painted as ignorant, warlike savages by her and the materials. She even defended a man that intentionally exposed Indigenous peoples with no immunity to certain diseases to said diseases ‘just to see what would happen.’ She recommended his books, including ‘Noble Savages’ to us. I shouldn’t have to explain why that’s racist, lmao.
All of this is to say that I was VERY fed up, she (and the class) was VERY racist, and she was going down.
Then her foolish self decided to assign a massive project where we were supposed to ‘teach the class’ about a Native subject (y i k e s, esp. since the class was full of non-Natives). Since I was Fed Up, I decided to skip the usual schooling on cultural appropriation to instead teach everyone (including her) about just a smattering of the important things she hadn’t even mentioned in passing. :)
What followed was a 33 page powerpoint.
Apologies for any inaccuracies, and blanket tw for slurs, racism, death, csa, torture, child abuse, etc etc etc
(I added all the regalia pics bc they made me happy and calmed me down, which I was gonna need. I set the presentation up as “Man, I sure had trouble deciding what to make my presentation about. Should I talk about X? Y? Z? This? That? This? And so on until I reached residential schools and Reconciliation as my discussion topic.)
I hope those gifs work. If not, they should be under my “Oka Crisis” tag, or “n i fn a history” and “n i fn a protests” tags. I also had decided early to use the Nations actual names where possible.
Oh look, a quick and easy way to make people realize THIS IS WHY YOU DON’T FUCKING REFER TO US AS SLURS, and here’s how to discuss the issue without being additionally harmful.
OH LOOK, SOURCES
Getting progressively angrier at this point. The class is smart enough to stay silent.
#MMIW #NoMoreStolenSisters. Please bring them home. Whatever it takes.
Stayed on this slide juuust long enough to stare each person in class down.
Oh look, we’re finally hitting my actual topic. Again, shit’s about to get very heavy. Please read only if you can. I will not be glancing over these to check them rn, bc I can’t. I’m sharing just for y’all to see, and hopefully reblog to educate people.
I honestly wept as I worked on this part. I can’t read it again.
Calling it out.
AYUP. Canadians are so nice and their government isn’t problematic at all
There are survivors that are my age, and younger.
Not letting them forget that this isn’t just in the past. It still wounds us.
It still hurts. We’re still recovering.
I included resources for them, including the prof, to actually educate themselves, since our school sure as shit wasn’t going to do it.
A handful of my sources.
Anyways. I was done. So fucking done. She (the prof) still tried to guide the class back and pretend that it was acceptable that she hadn’t taught them anything. I didn’t let her. I reminded them all that the only reason that this was Canada focused was bc they’d just had the Truth and Reconciliation reports, whereas the US government hasn’t put any effort into assembling data on their atrocities. Go figure.
Above - Indigenous woman being detained for having an “open flame” at a rally (a smudge sage stick used in ceremony). Below - large gang of white nationalists clutching onto commercialized tiki torches sold at Walmart for $6.98 inspired [appropriation of] by Polynesian culture.
#welcometoamerica #jokes #charlottesville #citronellasoldiers
My boyfriend’s identity was stolen while doing survival sex work, and his disability pension has been stopped in the mean time. We can barely keep a roof over our heads on just my pension, and due to us both being severely disabled, neither of us can work right now (even ssw).
We currently have around 5 bucks left for food, and both of us come from extremely dangerous & abusive homes. I have already reached out to my mother anyways because we had nothing to eat.
My paypal is email@example.com. Even a dollar would make a huge difference to our situation right now.
Hi, I’ve been considering starting a book in the fantasy genre. I really wanted to give some Native American representation in it, since it's something that I rarely see. However, this story wouldn't take place in America, it would be in a completely different world (though one loosely based off of earth in the 14 hundreds ish?) This is similar to your mixing cultures post, but I wanted to know: is there a good way to give Native American representation in stories that aren’t historical fiction?
Representing PoC in Fantasy When Their Country/Continent Doesn’t Exist
The core of this question is something we’ve gotten across a few different ethnicities, and it basically boils down to: “how can I let my readers know these people are from a certain place without calling them by this certain place?” Aka, how can I let people know somebody is Chinese if I can’t call them Chinese, or, in your case, some Native American nation without having a North America.
Notes on Language
As I have said multipletimes, there is no such thing as “Native American culture”. It’s an umbrella term. Even if you are doing fantasy you need to pick a nation and/or confederacy.
How do you code somebody as European?
This sounds like a very silly question, but consider it seriously.
How do you?
They probably live in huts or castles; there are lords and kings and knights; they eat stew and bread and drumsticks; they celebrate the winter solstice as a major holiday/new year; women wear dresses while men wear pants; there are pubs and farms and lots of wheat; the weather is snowy in winter and warm in summer.
Now swap all those components out for whatever people you’re thinking about.
Iroquois? They live in longhouses; there is a confederacy and democracy and lots of warriors from multiple nations; they eat corn, beans, and squash (those three considered sacred and grown together), with fish and wild game; they wear mostly leather garments with furs in winter; there are nights by the fire and cities and the rituals will change by the nation (remember the Iroquois were a confederacy made up of five or six tribes, depending on period); the weather is again snowy in winter and warm in summer.
Chinese? They harvest rice; there is an emperor appointed by the gods and scholars everywhere; they use a lunar calendar and have a New Year in spring; their trade ships are huge and their resources are plenty; they live in wood structures with paper walls or mud brick; they use jade and ivory for talismans; their culture is hugely varied depending on the province; their weather is mostly tropical, with monsoons instead of snow on lowlands, but their mountains do get chilly.
You get the gist.
Break down what it is that makes a world read as European (let’s be honest, usually English and Germanic) to you, then swap out the parts with the appropriate places in another culture.
Research, research, research. Google is your friend. Ask it the questions for “what did the Cree eat” and “how did Ottoman government work.” These are your basics. This is what you’ll use to figure out the building blocks of culture.
You’ll also want to research their climate. As I say in How To Blend Cultures, culture comes from climate. If you don’t have the climate, animals, plants, and weather down, it’ll ring false.
Start to build the humans and how they interact with others. How are the trade relations? What are the internal attitudes about the culture— how do they see outsiders? How do outsiders see them? Are there power imbalances? How about greed and desire to take over?
This is where you need to do even more research on how different groups interacted with others. Native American stories are oftentimes painful to read, and I would strongly suggest to not take a colonizer route for a fantasy novel.
This does, however, mean you might not be researching how Natives saw Europeans— you’ll be researching how they saw neighbours.
You’ll also want to look up the social rules to get a sense for how they interacted with each other, just for character building purposes.
Sensitivity readers everywhere! You’ll really want to get somebody from the nation to read over the story to make sure you’ve gotten things right— it’s probably preferable to get somebody when you’re still in the concept stage, because a lot of glaring errors can be missed and it’s best to catch them before you start writing them.
Making mistakes is 100% not a huge moral failing. Researching cultures without much information on them is hard. So long as you understand the corrections aren’t a reflection on your character, just chalk them up to ignorance (how often do most writers get basic medical, weapon, or animal knowledge wrong? Extremely often).
This is where you really get into the meat of creating people. You’ve built their culture and environment into your worldbuilding, so now you have the tools you need to create characters who feel like part of the culture.
You’ll really want to keep in mind that every culture has a variety of people. While your research will say people roughly behave in a certain way, people are people and break cultural rules all the time. Their background will influence what rules they break and how they relate to the world, but there will be no one person who follows every cultural rule down to the letter.
More sensitivity readers! See step 4 for notes.
Rewrite— and trust me, you will need to. Writing is rewriting.
Repeat steps seven and eight until story is done.
I’ll be honest— you’re probably going to need a certain amount of either goodwill (if you’re lucky enough to make friends within the group you’re trying to represent— but seriously, please do not make friends with us for the sole purpose of using us as sensitivity readers. It’s not nice) and/or money to get to publishing level.
The good part is the first three steps are free, and these first three steps are what will allow you to hurt others less when you approach. While you’ll still likely make mistakes, you’ll make a few less (and hopefully no glaring ones, but it can/does happen) so long as you do your due diligence in making sure you at least try to understand the basics.
And once you feel like you’ve understood the basics… dive down even deeper because chances are you’re about to reach a tipping point for realizing how little you know.
People will always find you did something wrong. You will never get culture 100% accurate— not even people who were born and raised in it will, because as I said in step five: cultures have a huge variety of people in them, so everyone will interact with it differently. But you can work your hardest to capture one experience, make it as accurate as possible, and learn more for next time.
If you’re going to buy “Native American inspired” jewelry or apparel, JUST BUY FROM AN ACTUAL NATIVE AMERICAN!!!
Like there are groups on facebook that you can look through, and a lot of those lead to particular artists who are willing to do business. ACTUAL TRIBAL NATIVE AMERICANS guys!! Not only is the piece you are getting AUTHENTIC, but for sooo many natives, it’s how they pay their bills, buy food, or provide for their family and you are helping them. Yes some things are expensive but that’s literally their job sometimes, and yes some are cheaper but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s “poor quality,” they just need a quick buck.
The real artists are out there guys, so many flea markets in the Navajo nation that you can find things, benefit powwows, cultural centers, facebook groups, other social media, they’re really not that hard to find. Some of them have jobs and do beadwork, jewelry, clothes on the side, but you are still getting the real deal. Don’t buy that “Native American inspired” overpriced piece from Becky who lives on a 100 acre ranch, in a 2 story house, and drives a brand new BMW.