Stereotypes and "Indian" Costumes

Native American Points of View

Link zu Erklärungen in deutscher Sprache - Link to explanations in German


Especially on social networks you will find a lot of controversal discussions about cultural appropriation, "Indian" costumes, stereotypes, and racism. Many comments show very clearly that there is a lack of understanding why misrepresentation and reinforced stereotypes have a very negative impact on Native Americans, especially on the youth and the children. Among other psychological effects it undermines their self esteem. Step by step we will share links to sources of information and hopefully more Europeans will be able to understand why we are criticising the way Native Americans from various nations are "portrayed" in movies,  so-called documentaries, tv series for children, kindergarten and school projects, vacational programs, shows, newspaper articles, advertisements, commercials, etc. We will also shed a light on cultural appropriation versus cultural appreciation.

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Video: "Being Native: Dealing with Stereotypes"

by Oakland AICRC
For those of you who have ever said a stereotype to someone and they tried to stick up for their race and you just brushed it off like it was nothing, you should really do your research on what that stereotype was that you just said, because stereotypes have an impact and they are not a joke. (Quote from the video)

 Video: "Daunette on What Being Native American Means to Her"

 by Teen Vogue

"In this “Cultural Appreciation” video, Daunette, who is Native American, dispels myths about her culture and explains why her heritage is so meaningful to her."

Video: "Native American is a Culture — Not a Halloween Costume"

by Brut. 

In this video Daunnette Reyome, a Native American model, points to the lack of awareness from people who stereotype Native culture through costume:

"When I see people wearing Native American costumes, my feelings are genuinely hurt. ... But please do not be dressed up as a Native American, because my culture is not your costume.
You dress up as a Native American for one night, but you don't understand the adversities that we go through - not just as an individual, but as people, as a nation. They don't understand the pain that we feel because, you know, it wasn't their ancestors that were slaughtered. It wasn't their ancestors that were tortured. It wasn't their ancestors that were put away. It wasn't their ancestors that had their culture taken from them. It wasn't their ancestors. If anything, it was their ancestors that did the dirty to us.
So, it really just hurts my feelings whenever I see costumes that mimic my culture because I know that they don't understand what we go through as a people." - Daunnette Reyome

Link to the video on Brut.:

Video: "We are not a costume"


 by UrbanNativeEra

Video: "We're NOT Halloween costumes"

 by Ruff Indian Productions

Information for children