sophcw at gmail dot com
Scrape your knee, it's only skin.
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I think that depends on one’s purpose. Are you trying to sell records or T-shirts? If it’s being done to push products, which is often the case, then the bar should be higher in terms of paying attention to the context, message and history behind these kinds of depictions. I would imagine we’re going to see similar disputes when The Lone Ranger movie comes out, with Johnny Depp playing the role of Tonto.
It’s not like I see myself — or any native scholar or activist or tribe — as a gatekeeper for the nation’s taste. It’s not that you have to get permission to use anything that involves something Native. It’s about assuming responsibility and not being surprised if people react by saying, “You screwed up.” It’s not about censorship; it’s about being clear on the motivations that are inspiring the appropriation.