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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

10 Things You Don’t Know About American Indians

There are many misconceptions when it comes to modern American Indians and the way we identify ourselves in society. As a Seminole Indian woman, I’ve had my share of “rain dance” jokes and uncomfortable conversations.

These stereotypes stem from inaccurate portrayals in popular culture that were never properly challenged. They establish a limited perception. Movies, television shows, mascots. There’s poverty porn, media that sensationalizes marginalized communities with exploitative or voyeuristic motives. Even Disney perpetuates these problems.

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1. We exist today and live contemporary lives.

2. There are multiple ways to address Native America.

3. We don’t all look the same.

4. There are more than 560 federally recognized tribes in the U.S.

5. And each tribe has its own identity as a nation, independent from one another.

6. Some Natives live on reservations, some don’t.

7. There are American Indians in the U.S. that don’t speak English.

8. Land is not just property to American Indians.

9. A genocide was enacted upon Native America.

10. Native America is changing the world.