Dwanna L. Robertson spoke with Minnesota Public Radio yesterday about the topics she addressed in a recent ICTMN opinion piece, “A Request to Everyone in Academia and Anyone Who Isn’t an American Indian as the Fall Season Approaches.” Her column was about the many opportunities for racial insensitivity at his time of year, with the start of football season (and the presence of the Redskins, Chiefs, etc., on TV any given Sunday) and three holidays that can make Natives a bit queasy: Columbus Day, Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Although the issues of stereotyping and casual racism are discussed at ICTMN on a daily basis, much of the American public still doesn’t understand the problem with reducing Indian identity to a costume, or the harrowing genocidal injustice that phrases such as “manifest destiny” or “trail of tears” invoke.
“We understand that this has been internalized, that this is socialized,” she tells the interviewer. “We understand that children learn how to count to ‘One little, two little, three little Indians.’ We get that. We know that you sit ‘Indian style.’ We recognize that this is part of the social makeup. We’re asking that it not be.”
To listen to the full segment, visit “Rethinking American Indian references during the fall season” at minnesota.publicradio.org.