Native American (Forced) Migration To Oklahoma

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Winter Rabbit over at Culture Kitchen just wrote an important post on Native American stereotypes in athletic contests.  Most relevant to this blog is the fact that these stereotypes are especially prevalent in Oklahoma.  I'll transcribe from the video Winter Rabbit embedded to explain:

In 2001, the United States Civil Rights Commission joined a long list of national organizations calling for an end to the use of American Indian imagery as sports mascots.  The controversy is especially challenging in Oklahoma where 38 federally recognized nations, tribes, bands, and tribal towns maintain their headquarters in a state known as 'Indian territory' until 1907. 

While a few tribal entities have ancient roots in the contemporary boundaries of Oklahoma.  The majority of tribal people in the State either arrived with the introduction of horse culture to the Great Plains, or were removed to the State by the U.S. government in the 19th century.  As a result of this massive and often forced migration of indigenous peoples to what became the 46th State, Oklahoma currently maintains the second largest number of American Indians in any one state in the U.S. 

Given this history one should not be surprised to find a vast array of American Indian imagery in the State reflecting Oklahoma's indelible ties with Native Americans.  At times, the imagery has been created by tribal people and represents a rich tradition of Native American Indian art.  In other cases, images are designed by non-natives and reflect the stereotypes American Indians continue to endure while other races have seen their stereotypical depictions vanish from the pop culture landscape.
- American Indian Sports Mascots (emphasis mine)

I know some people that would take issue with that last sentence, stating that "other races have seen their stereotypical depictions vanish", but the point hits home pretty well.  Most interesting is the fact that Native Americans have had such an impact on Oklahoma because of migration, and the migrants, once again, find themselves being discriminated against.  I don't mean to stretch the migrants too much, but it certainly is fascinating how it pops up in so many instances of oppression.

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2 Comments

I agree, Native Americans continue to find themselves poorly depicted by the media and others via these old stereotypes. Hopefully one day people will understand that they are poor depictions and have no real basis in reality.

kyledeb Author Profile Page said:

Thanks for stopping by. Always great to hear from commenters that are passionate about the issue I discuss.

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This page contains a single entry by kyledeb published on February 21, 2008 1:18 PM.

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