November is supposedly Native American Heritage Month. As usual, the majority of Americans don’t have the slightest idea, nor do they care. This is shopping and turkey month! Indians? Are they still alive? Let’s have a look at what Target is doing for NDN Heritage month, shall we? Oh look, a “Southwestern Teepee”. Gosh, that’s so right on the money accurate, you betcha. (If you are sarcasm impaired, that was fair dripping with sarcastic venom.)
Just in time for Native appropriation for Thanksgiving and Christmas, Target is offering a gray and white “Southwestern Teepee” [sic] (as described on the Target website,) for the low price of $89.99.
Target’s website describes the pillowfort teepee [sic] as “perfect for little imaginations during pretend play. The southwestern pattern has a realistic look and the poles are sturdy enough to last through endless rounds of make-believe.”
It’s are part of the Sabrina Soto Explorer Kids Bedding collection at Target. Though not available online, there is also a decorative teepee [sic] pillow for $12.48 on clearance. Soto is a HGTV designer and refers to herself as Cubana and is the popular host of The High/Low Project.
I guess exploiting that Cubana heritage was out of the question. Thanks ever for being yet another thoughtless dipshit, Ms. Soto, and ensuring that more Americans will have incredibly fucked up ideas about Indians, because there just isn’t enough of that going around, no, not at all. As bad as this isht is, it pales in comparison to the never ending racism of NDSU. We move on to Indians suck, as in Indians suck dick:
A North Dakota State University supporter was spotted at a football game Nov. 5 with an obscene T-shirt, modified with the University of North Dakota’s new Fighting Hawks logo altered with a single-feathered Native figure on its knees before a phallus extending from the Bison logo. It was meant to represent the “Sioux suck” chant NDSU students developed when arch rival UND’s name was “Fighting Sioux,” a moniker it was forced to abandon by the NCAA. The Fighting Hawk logo debuted this year.
The confounding aspect of the recently spotted T-shirt that caused the minor uproar is that NDSU was not even playing against UND. The opposing team was Ohio’s Youngstown State Penguins.
The obnoxious shirt, reported on by the Grand Forks Herald, is an unfortunate way to kick of Native American Heritage Month at NDSU, but it did not surprise two of the 188 Native students attending the university, which has a total enrollment of more than 14,400.
James Henry, Turtle Mountain Chippewa, and Tyrel Iron Eyes, Standing Rock Lakota Sioux, knew of the overt slurs. Iron Eyes is a member of NDSU’s Native American Student Association, and Henry is its former president.
Henry, a mechanical engineering student, encountered the chant four years ago during his first year at the university when he joined his non-Native roommates at a football game. The people beside him started doing the “Sioux suck” chant.
“They kind of looked at me, and they wondered why I wasn’t chanting with them,” he said. Henry bluntly told them why. They were taken aback that he found it racist; to them, “Sioux” was just another sports team and the chant has a long campus history. After he confronted them he says, “They felt ashamed, in a sense.”
Henry stopped attending NDSU sporting events. Iron Eyes, who plans to study anthropology, also declines to attend.
It was during his freshman year while walking on campus that he first overheard a conversation with one NDSU fan explaining that his favorite part of the games was the “Sioux suck” chant.
“I get that it’s their mascot, but at the same time, it upset me. I used to call people out on it,” Iron Eyes said. Often his fellow non-Native students would stammer through an explanation of why they liked the chant.
“They don’t understand. A lot of people don’t realize that Native Americans still exist today. All they know is the Battle of Little Big Horn. They think we all died on the reservations, or that we never leave the reservations now.”
Both Henry and Iron Eyes agree that leaving their reservations to attend the university in Fargo, a city of about 114,000, has been a stressful transition.
“I am very much in the minority,” Iron Eyes said. “For the first, probably two or three months … I was unaware of other Natives on campus.”
In addition, he says, he went from a high school with a graduating class of 25 and classrooms of 35 students maximum to university classes with 300-plus attending.
“There’s a lot of helpful people on campus, but it’s still very much predominately white. It’s very nerve-wracking,” Henry agreed. “It’s one of the things I struggle with. … I’ve been asked multiple times if I live in a tipi.”
A student, Erik Jonasson II, penned an Oct. 6 opinion piece, “The Herd’s Chant: Racism Inside the Dome” for the NDSU Spectrum, the semi-weekly student newspaper, writing “As we sit in the stands cheering on our truly dominant football team, it is hard to not be sickened by this chant.”
The above is pointed to as a hopeful sign, and perhaps it is a bit of one. If you really want to see just how hopeful though, click over and read the comments. “Sioux Sucks Shit” retains its popularity.
Full story here.
Oh yes, lest I forget, the mighty Google did a doodle, and it speaks volumes, just how grateful so many Natives are for such a tiny notice. ASK N NDN: Was a Native Google Doodle Enough? Indian Country Responds.