This novelty wine holder depicting a Native American drinking from a bottle of wine was recently removed a Rapid City, S.D., souvenir shop. (Courtesy photo/Rapid City Journal)
Here’s a really good follow-up to the story about a souvenir depicting a wine-guzzling Indian that – briefly – was for sale at a souvenir shop in Rapid City, S.D.
As soon as I saw the original story (read it here), I flashed back to last month’s controversy over McDonald’s inclusion of a Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer toy in its Happy Meals. The vitriol – well, I was going to say flew, but what exactly does vitriol do? Ooze? Anyhow, there was a lot of it, which was discouraging, given that the best we can do with incidents like this is turn them into teachable moments. We just wish there weren’t quite so many teachable moments.
This particular piece reprises a number of such moments, including the flap – decades in the making – over the name, Sambo’s, of a popular restaurant chain; as well as a KFC ad with Asian-American actors, a Volkswagen ad with what appeared to be an Arab motorist, and a reference to a name that no story on this topic should omit, the Washington Redskins.
Let the teaching … continue.
Tags: buffalo post, Native American news, racism
Federal recognition for Montana’s Little Shell Chippewa Tribe is “the right thing,” U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., testified Wednesday.
Rehberg’s remarks on behalf of recognition came at a hearing of the House Natural Re-sources Committee Wednesday.
He’s sponsoring legislation (H.R. 3120) to provide the recognition that has been denied by the federal government for more than 100 years. The House Natural Resources Committee has jurisdiction over recognition issues in the House.
In Montana, at least, “the question of recognition for the Little Shell Tribe near Great Falls is not a controversial one,” Rehberg told the committee.
He reminded the committee that Montana formally recognized the tribe, most of whose 4,300 members live in and around Great Falls, nine years ago.
For both himself and Montana’s U.S. senators, both Democrats, “This federal recognition is about rising above politics, and bureaucratic red tape to do the right thing,” he said.
The tribe formally applied to the U.S. Department of Interior for recognition more than 30 years ago.
Read the full text of Rehberg’s remarks here.
Tags: buffalo post, Little Shell Chippewa, Native American news
The percentage of federal contracts awarded to Alaska native corporations has leapt within the last four years, according to a report by the Small Business Administration inspector general.
In fiscal year 2008, Alaska native corporations accounted for 26 percent of the SBA’s 8(c) Business Development Program, double the percentage in 2004, according to this story in Government Executive magazine. But the native corporations represent just 2 percent of all companies qualifying for the program.
The inspector general report was released last week in preparation for tomorrow’s hearing of a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcomitteee on Contracting Oversight.
Sheri Buretta, chairwoman of the Chugach Alaska Corp., told Government Executive’s Robert Brodsky that the actual dollar amount provided to native corporations has gone down between 2005 and 2008.
“This is not a government handout,” Buretta said. “This is an opportunity for our people to be self-sufficient.” Her firm is part of Native8aWorks, a coalition that has taken out ads in advance of tomorrow’s hearing. Check out its Web site here.
Tags: Alaska Native, buffalo post, Native American news
This wine bottle holder was recently removed from a store in Rapid City, S.D., after complaints that it was offensive. (Courtesy photo/Rapid City Journal)
Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words. Luckily, the only place you’ll see this now (at least around Rapid City, S.D.) is in the photo. The wine holder was removed from the shelves of the Gold Diggers souvenir shop after complaints that it was offensive.
A series of steps led to its removal, according to this story. After Robert Cook, president of the National Indian Education Association (and a Rapid City native) saw a photo that was circulating, he wrote to the city.
Mayor Alan Hanks then sent a letter to Gold Diggers owners Cindy and Roger Thompson, asking them to remove it – and they did.
“I wish we had more folks in the community who, when something is pointed out as being offensive, were that wiling to step up and do something about it.” Cindy did say she asked her Native American employees if the item was offensive before she put it up. She said she’s thrown out the rest of the wine holders.
But, as Roger Thompson said, “It’s like slapping a Native American in the face. “A percentage of any population has a problem with alcohol. Many Native Americans are responsible users of alcohol.”
Tags: buffalo post, Native American news, racism
The House Committee on Natural Resources is holding a hearing today on federal recognition for the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe, a landless group whose 4,300 members mostly live in and around Great Falls, Mont.
The Little Shell have been seeking official recognition since 1978, and the state of Montana formally recognized them in 2000 – the same year that the U.S. Interior Department also said the tribe deserved recognition.
“What recognition means for us, in a word, is hope,” Little Shell Executive Director Russell Boham said when Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg announced today’s hearing. “Hope for the future. Hope that access to federal programs can improve our communities and that self-determination can really mean self-sufficiency for our Little Shell families.”
Hope. Hmmm. Where have we heard that word before? We’ll be watching to see if things are different this year for the Little Shell. And we’ll be updating the blog on how the hearing goes.
Tags: Add new tag, buffalo post, Little Shell Chippewa, Native American news