"I was at a diversity conference in Appleton a few weeks ago, and I was asked to be interviewed by a local TV news station. As we were preparing for the interview, the cameraman turned around and he was wearing a "Mishicot Indians" sweatshirt.
I looked at him, then the shirt, then I extended my hand. He had a somewhat sheepish look on his face, shook my hand and I told him, "From one Indian to another... how's your day going?" He politely said, "OK."
I have met many people from Mishicot and Kewaunee, and they are all proud of being "Indian" because that's the name of their school teams. Some of these students will even tell us to our faces, "We're the real Indians." How am I supposed to react to that? Better yet, how do I explain to my grandchildren how to react to that?
Here's one way I do.
I ask these people: "What is your Indian name? What does it mean? What clan are you? What are your responsibilities at ceremony?"
But lastly, and this is the biggie, I ask them, "Show me your tribal I.D. card. I've got one. I'm an Indian, just like you just told me you are, so tell me all about your tribe, your history and how you deal with the federal government.""
Get the Story:
Richie Plass: Mascots aren't harmless in the 21st century
(The Green Bay Press-Gazette 3/24)
Mascot Legislation:AB 35
Bill in Wisconsin seeks
removal of Indian mascots