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TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma's principal chief reacted in disgust at the antics captured on videotape by Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown's senatorial staff and campaign workers. Brown's staff were apparently trying to draw attention to Brown's Democratic challenger, Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren's claim she has Cherokee and Delaware heritage.
Principal Chief Bill John Baker issued the following statement on Wednesday:
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker
The Cherokee Nation is disappointed in and denounces the disrespectful actions of staffers and supporters of Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown. The conduct of these individuals goes far beyond what is appropriate and proper in political discourse. The use of stereotypical "war whoop chants" and "tomahawk chops" are offensive and downright racist. It is those types of actions that perpetuate negative stereotypes and continue to minimize and degrade all native peoples.
The individuals involved in this unfortunate incident are high ranking staffers in both the senate office and the Brown campaign. A campaign that would allow and condone such offensive and racist behavior must be called to task for their actions.
The Cherokee Nation is a modern, productive society, and I am blessed to be their chief. I will not be silent when individuals mock and insult our people and our great nation.
We need individuals in the United States Senate who respect Native Americans and have an understanding of tribal issues. For that reason, I call upon Sen. Brown to apologize for the offensive actions of his staff and their uneducated, unenlightened and racist portrayal of native peoples.
Bill John Baker, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
posted September 27, 2012 6:50 am edt