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"Indian" mascots of athletic teams can be offensive to Native Americans when they portray negative and stereotypical images. The notion of the "tomahawk chop" invented by Atlanta Braves fans and all the antics that go along with such images prevent millions of Americans from understanding the authentic Indian America, both long ago and today. "Playing Indian," a common sight on many athletic fields in America, mocks Native American cultural practices, trivializes their diversity, and assaults their humanity. Indian dress, weapons, artifacts, and music that have religious or cultural significance to many traditional Native American people have been distorted and degraded, and Native peoples have been portrayed as a fictitious generic image or as the stereotypical hostile warrior or princess. Thirteen questions are presented to assist educators in addressing the issues surrounding the Native American mascot of school athletic teams and cultural respect. (SV)

Descriptors: American Indian Culture, American Indians, Athletics, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Education, Cultural Images, Ethnic Stereotypes, Social Bias

Autor: Pewewardy, Cornel D.


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