National American Indian Heritage Month
Does the Washington Redskins Football Team celebrate National American Indian Heritage Month? Do they even know that the month of November has been designated to honor and celebrate the rich traditions and historic heritage American Indian People represent within the cultural landscape of the United States of America? Most Americans, viagra 60mg including Redskins fans, buy pretend that the Washington team’s mascot actually honors American Indians. Or they remain unaware that November is National American Indian Heritage Month. This is most assuredly because if they recognized it, they would have to face the cloud of hypocrisy that engulfs them. Given the significant outcry from American Indian People and other voices, the refusal to change the name of the Washington Redskins Football Team, the team logo, and the team’s branded merchandise, is in direct opposition to honoring American Indians and, instead, serves to denigrate, culturally appropriate, and commodify them. In stark contrast, several states have changed what was formerly known as Columbus Day to Native American Day, while other states still deem Columbus Day as a holiday, its significance has become mostly a day for retail stores to offer sales and bargains instead of honoring its history.
Basically, American Indian Heritage Day continues to be a day we observe with little to no recognition as a “legitimate” national holiday, even though President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November as “National American Indian Heritage Month” in 1990. There are 562 federally recognized Indian Nations in the United States. Approximately 229 of these ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse nations are located in Alaska; the rest are located in 33 other states. The Commonwealth of Virginia is home to 11 “recognized” American Indian Tribes. The United States Constitution recognizes that Indian Nations are sovereign governments. Throughout our nation’s history, the Supreme Court, Congress, U.S. Presidents, and hundreds of treaties have, repeatedly, reaffirmed that Indian Nations retain their inherent powers of self- government. There are approximately 4.1 million Americans who self-identify as American Indian or Alaska Native alone or in conjunction with another race, according to the U.S. census in 2000.
The history of the U.S. and American Indian Nations is complex, bloody and, mostly, unknown by the contemporary American citizenry. Over centuries of conquest and colonization, American Indians were forced to cede millions of acres of land that made the United States what it is today, and in return received, among other guarantees, the right of continued self-government on their own lands. Although the lands “given” were usually more barren or difficult to cultivate than not, and Indian People were often pushed to the corners and creases of the American landscape, the founders, patriots and generations upon generations more, took the best and most fruitful and profitable millions of acres as if it were their divine and manifest destiny.
In honor of National American Indian Heritage Month, the Washington Redskins organization and any other sports franchises that use the pretense of honoring the heritage of the First People, the Native Americans of the USA, by making them into mascots, caricatures and objects of false representation (without permission), while attempting to re-frame culture and A Peoples History into flags, t-shirts, caps and coffee mugs need to STOP doing it. It’s shameful…and if they knew more about history they would…CHANGE THE NAME OF THEIR FRANCHISE IMMEDIATELY.
Up Next Week: Diplomacy is difficult!