by Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
WASHINGTON, DC - Given the outrage in Indian Country regarding the inappropriate usage of Geronimo’s name in the covert operation to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, the timing for the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs could not be better.
“It is so embedded in the American psyche that they reached back a whole century and used Geronimo’s name,” said Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne/Muscogee), who will testify about improper usages of American Indian identities.
“It is too bad that even today the word Indian means enemy,”
she commented regarding the government’s usage of Geronimo’s name as the code name in the operation to capture or kill Osama bin Laden.
Harjo is a poet, writer and lecturer. She was one of seven plaintiffs who filed in 1992 with the US Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to have the trademark of the Washington Redskins because the was disparaging to American Indians.
“Unfortunately, Asians and Europeans are better educated about American Indians than are Americans; therefore, they use us as mascots for team sports. I think it is inappropriate to use Indian names for mascots,” said Jim Werne(Oglala Lakota), who will testify at the hearing.
“America needs to be better educated about American Indians.”
Werne is a former National Football League player, who now heads up the Warrior Development Society in San Diego, California.
On Thursday afternoon, five American Indians will testify in an oversight hearing called, “Stolen Identities: The Impact of Racist Stereotypes on Indigenous People.”
The five are:
Tex Hall, chairman of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation and Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association;
Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne/Muscogee), president of The Morning Star Institute;
Charlene Teters (Spokane), professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts;
Dr. Stephanie Fryberg (Tulalip), professor at University of Tucson;
Chaske Spencer (Sioux/Cherokee/Creek), actor/producer and partner of Urban Dream Productions and
Jim Warne (Oglala Lakota), president of Warrior Society Development.
WHEN: Thursday, May 5, 2011
TIME: 2:15 pm (edt)
WHERE: Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 628
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It is so disappointing to see the dishonor for all the Navajo and American Indian Natives, men and women that took up to the stand and joined the war …
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