Lately, it seems like some of the younger, very, very, very educated Indians are very focused on white people who emulate Native styles of dress, jewelry, fashion, etc. I find that argument interesting—that white people should not emulate any of “our” fashions—because, if you go to any of the fancy Skin conferences, I guarantee you that you will see a couple of thousand Indians dressed up as if they were honorary white people, suits and bolo ties galore. In fact, if you go to many rezzes in the western United States (almost a redundant statement), you’ll find many of the Indian men dressed as cowboys. Are those appropriating Indians making a mockery of cowboys???
In either event, if any particular Indian believes that a white person should never adopt any Indian practices, then that particular Indian is probably mortified, James Arthur Ray-style, at the below link. They’ve gotta be thinking, “Those darn white folks are always stealing from us—is nothing sacred!?!?!?”
See, Indian people created the “Meet Each Other a Large Retail Shop and Get Married or at Least Shacked Up” romance many, many moons ago—it is traditional to the northern plains!! Many a child was conceived as a result of meeting in the checkout line—heck, some children were actually conceived in the checkout line; that is our style, Indian style romance!! The only thing that these white cultural-appropriators changed was the store—Indian peoples’ great singles bar is Wal-Mart—the nerve of these people!!
Obviously nothing is sacred and these white folks will steal anything of ours that is not nailed down.
I have not been on the appropriating front lines until this—this is the last straw. Sign me up—I’m ready to go to war.
Gyasi Ross is a member of the Blackfeet Nation and his family also belongs to the Suquamish Nation. He recently wrote a book called “Don’t Know Much About Indians (but i wrote a book about us anyways).” You can get it at www.dkmai.com. He also makes a bunch of silly youtube videos and you can see those at www.youtube.com/dkmaibook.