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From fashion design to athletics, the appropriation of Native American cultural symbols is pervasive throughout the US. According to #PeopleNotMascots, a digital resource bringing attention to the detrimental misappropriation of Indigenous-inspired symbols in the US educational system, one in 26 secondary schools nationwide brandish a Native American mascot; in North Dakota, the number climbs to one in 15.
Recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Diné Tiktoker and crochet artist Lily (@sheshortnbrown) spread the word about the resource for identifying and protesting these mascots in your area. The website allows site visitors to search mascots appropriating Indigenous symbols in their state, also offering a template letter addressed to state legislators “to demand that they eliminate Native mascots within your state.”
For decades, Indigenous activists have lambasted the common trend of schools, sports teams, and other organizations appropriating Native American symbols as mascots. The usage of Native mascots is a pervasive issue. Debates around the appropriation of these images have been most visible in the realm of athletics, with several sports teams in recent years conceding to decades of protests and agreeing to change their names, including the Cleveland Indians.
Currently, just Washington, Maine, and Colorado have banned the use of Native mascots. The letter encourages lawmakers to follow in the footsteps of these states, stating: “Historically, Natives have not been treated as human beings. This has been seen through the atrocities such as residential schools, the Long Walk, the Trail of Tears, and mass genocide through colonization, and now Native mascots.”
According to the letter, “Native children that are overly exposed to racist stereotypes are more likely to have lower self-esteem, distance themselves from their culture, have a lower belief in personal achievement, and worsen mood.”
“Native people are not caricatures,” the letter beseeches. “Native people are not a monolith, they are diverse in customs and values. […] By bringing forth a bill alongside the aforementioned states, tax-payer’s funds will no longer be used to propagate harmful and dehumanizing depictions of Indigenous people — a vital step in reckoning with our nation’s past.”
An SFMOMA exhibition raises questions about what it means when museum board members have ties to politicians who support border wall policies.
The exhibition at the Jewish Museum delves into “degenerate” art and art made under duress as part of a thought-provoking yet diffuse exhibition.
In Philadelphia, a series of solo shows delves into the interdisciplinary practices of graduates whose work explores identity, familial bonds, political constructs, and nature’s fragility.
Despite his work’s apparent abstraction, Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe insists that “I don’t invent anything, everything I do is my jungle and what is there.”
David Uzochukwu, Kennedi Carter, and Kiki Xue are among the 35 artists whose work will be displayed online and at the festival in Milan, Italy.
On November 14, join Columbia University School of the Arts for virtual information sessions with the program chair, faculty, and staff.
No Vacancy, curated by Jody Graf, will be on view from October 26 through November 8 at the school’s Kellen Gallery in New York City.
To do so before they have returned the Maqdala treasures and the Benin Bronzes and the Easter Island statues and the Maori heads, before a coherent set of precepts for decolonization has been articulated, would affirm the wrong principle.
“Everybody in Mesopotamia, as far as I understand it, believed in ghosts,” said Irving Finkel, a curator of the British Museum’s Middle Eastern department.