"As a Native American, a member of the Navajo tribe, I have been especially intrigued by the Indian mascot controversies. Sports teams like the National Football Leagues' Washington Redskins and the Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians, along with other colleges and universities, have been at the center of controversy for their use of Native American mascots.
Supporters of the mascots say they are meant to pay homage to the culture by focusing on the bravery and courage of Native Americans rather than anything derogatory.
Opposition to the use of the mascots argues that they further stereotypes and are disrespectful to the culture.
Well, I can see the points of both sides because I support the education of others about Native American culture, but I prefer it be done correctly. There is more to Native American culture than feathers and moccasins.
It wouldn't be an issue if these mascots actually did interpret Native Americans correctly, but they don't.
It's unsettling to watch someone who is not Native American present their interpretation of a culture they are not a part of for entertainment value. The majority if these mascots throw on some buckskin, beads, war paint and prance around the field and consider that authentic.
I have seen firsthand sacred ceremonies performed by people who dedicate their lives to the traditional Native American lifestyle. These individuals are revered throughout the community. The Native American lifestyle is not something to be taken lightly."
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Charly Edsitty: Native American stereotypes perpetuated by sports mascots
(The Baylor Lariat 9/22)