Vind Deloria Jr. Lecture Series
Thunderbird house post by Tony Hunt. Clothing design for Adidas by Jeremy Scott.
MORE THAN JUST A TREND:
Native American Appropriation in the 21st Century
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
4:30–6 P.M., ELIOT HALL CHAPEL
In our increasingly global world, raiding the closets of Indigenous peoples has become a trend. Too many companies are guilty of misusing Native American sacred iconography (Victoria’s Secret’s Karlie Kloss in a headdress), or misusing copyrighted Native American names (Urban Outfitters’ Navajo items), or aligning their themes with negative stereotypes (Ecko’s alcohol and headdressed themed Weekend Warriors collection). This panel presents Native American perspectives and deconstructs the issues surrounding the misrepresentation of “the Native” in fashion, sports, and music and provides examples of ethical solutions to help avoid damaging controversies that perpetuate racism in popular culture.
Traditional Native American dancing and drumming, performed by members of the Native American Youth & Family Center.
Louie Gong (Nooksack) is an educator, activist, and artist who was raised by his grandparents in the Nooksack tribal community. He is the past President of MAVIN, co-developer of the Mixed Heritage Center, and a former child and family therapist. Louie is also the founder of Eighth Generation, through which he merges traditional Coast Salish art and icons from popular culture to make strong statements about identity, such as his highly sought-after, hand-drawn custom shoes. Louie’s latest creation is called “Mockups”, a DIY art toy based on his work with youth and his desire to a make the experience of personalizing a pair of shoes more accessible.
Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation) is a doctoral candidate and educational researcher at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on college access for Native students and the role of higher education in nation building of Native communities. She is following a small group of Native college students as they navigate their first year, looking at the role of College Horizons, a precollege access program for Native students, and the ways this program has influenced the college application, enrollment, and transition processes of these students. Adrienne is also an activist and blogger; her blog Native Appropriations focuses on representations of Indigenous peoples in the media and pop culture.
Dr. Jessica R. Metcalfe (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) earned her PhD in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on Native designers of high fashion and is in the process of editing her dissertation for a book manuscript. She is the main author of the website Beyond Buckskin which focuses on all topics related to Native fashion, and is the owner of the Beyond Buckskin Boutique, which promotes and sells Native American–made couture, streetwear, jewelry, and accessories.
Vine Deloria Jr. was one of the preeminent intellectuals of the 20th century, whose work brought attention to the importance of place and traditions within Native American communities. Founded in 2007, this series honors Deloria’s work and is a collaborative effort between the Office for Inclusive Community and the Office for Institutional Diversity.