My newest piece for Fusion: Appropriating Native American Imagery Honors No One but the Prejudice

Image
Artwork courtesy of Lalo Alcaraz of Pocho.com

 

I was a sophomore in high school, about 15 years old, when a rather hostile group of cheerleaders and football players cornered me, yelling, as I sat on a bench in the quad between classes. “Don’t you have school pride?” a cheerleader shouted. “You should feel proud! We’re honoring your people!” one football player hollered.

I was the only Native American (as far as I knew) at Woodbridge High School in Irvine, California. Irvine is a planned city in Southern California and one of the safest cities in the United States, but I didn’t feel safe that day.

I had met one-on-one with the principal, my guidance counsellor, a few teachers and several students to share my negative feelings toward our school’s mascot – an anonymous Native American “warrior” with long, flowing, jet-black hair, a large nose and huge muscles. I guess I thought if I made it known that I felt appropriating Native American imagery was offensive, they’d stop. I was outnumbered, though, and my personal feelings didn’t matter. But that’s the thing: As Native people, especially as urban Natives (what we Indigenous people living in urban centers call ourselves), we are almost always outnumbered. So, we go unnoticed and unheard. Our opinions never really matter.

Students wore goofy, cartoonish costumes of our mascot (and his equally tasteless “warrior princess” girlfriend) at pep rallies and games. The pair would dance and do occasional acrobatic moves, as they made their grand entrance to the deafening sounds of the school’s marching band, playing the quintessential Hollywood fight song that, for me at least, conjures up images of a scene from an old Western movie: “savage” Indians on horseback approaching a village of settlers…Uh-oh, there must be trouble.

…To read more, please visit: http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/ABC_Univision/native-american-imagery-appropriation-redskins-disrespectful/story?id=20286034

Please follow Fusion @ThisisFusion & follow me @AmyStretten

Advertisements

Have you heard about Fusion, the new ABC/Univision joint-venture?

The newsroom/nightclub.
Yes, we really work here.

What is Fusion, you ask?  Well, let me fill you in!

Fusion is a new, 24-hour (multi-platform) news channel aimed at English-speaking Hispanic and Latino Americans and millennials.  Fusion’s mission is to champion a smart, diverse and inclusive America.

I recently (last week) became the East Coast-based National Affairs Correspondent and am responsible for telling the stories of people, events and issues which are shaping America, today and tomorrow. In fact, my first piece on Native fashion at New York Fashion Week went live on the web last week.

I joined Fusion to do exactly what the job description said: Make sense of the news by producing reported stories, opinion columns, and curated posts which provide insight and context to notions of leadership, justice & equality, culture, modern life, and the American Dream as present in stories about politics, social mobility, race, identity and multiculturalism.

From technology, food, media, pop culture and celebrity to immigration and entrepreneurship, I cover what matters to Latinos and millennials. And, once we launch our TV programming (October 28th), I will provide live, on-air commentaries, sometimes at a moment’s notice.

Until the end of October, you can find out stories at http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/ and via our Twitter feed: @ThisisFusion.

I tweet daily, so if you use Twitter, please follow me @AmyStretten.  I would love to stay connected with you!

If you read this blog post, shout me out!  Or, re-tweet the post!

 

And, as my Mom says, go on and BE a great day!

 

-NativeJournalist (Amy Stretten)

 

@thisisFUSION

@thisisFUSION – logo

New job with the Seminole Channel!

Hey hey!

Lonnnnnng time no post!  But, I’m back(!) and excited to announce that I have moved down to South Florida to work as the Host and Multimedia Journalist for The Seminole Channel (which is owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida).  It was difficult to say goodbye to New York City, but the rest of Indian Country was calling.  (Not to worry, though…NYC has not seen the last of me!)

For those who are interested or have asked where they can watch The Seminole Channel, it currently airs on Directv and is only viewable by Seminole Tribal members living on one of the six STOF reservations.  But, there are plans to expand our audience and eventually share content with other Indigenous news networks soon.  I will be sure you let you know when and where you can view our content as our reach continues to grow.

We tape the show in front of a green screen because the set is virtual. I hosted this show solo because my co-host was reporting in another state.
We tape the show in front of a green screen because the set is virtual. I hosted this show solo while my co-host was reporting in another state.
Image
Just a little self-promotion 🙂

I moved to South Florida to work for Seminole Media Productions because I care about Indigenous people and telling Indigenous stories, and I am very excited to be a part of an incredible operation with passionate and dedicated media professionals.  I am excited about collaborating in an effort to make SMP an even more successful operation than it already is…The possibilities of what we can and will achieve are endless!

-NativeJournalist

A chance to win $200! & New Indigenous Arts + Culture News Site Launching Soon!

This photograph doesn't really relate to my project, but I adore it. (As you can see by my Twitter account: @amystretten)

As some of you may (or may not) know, I’m a Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism fellow (please excuse the horrid photograph– I didn’t get to choose it!) and am creating a multimedia arts + culture Indigenous news site for Indigenous youth of the United States and Canada called NativeRemix.com.

Below is a video about our “pitch day” – when I won a seed grant to fund the project!

The mission of the site is to provide creative, culturally relevant content to Native youth, highlighting the growing international Indigenous artistic movement.  (So, instead of focusing on sad, depressing news – you know, those stereotypical stories EVERYONE has heard over and over again – we’ll focus on the inspiring, uplifting stuff.)  And, I’m lucky to have an amazing team of Native content producers on board to help me get this project off the ground!

NativeRemix.com will feature profiles on cutting edge Indigenous artists like Aboriginal DJ group A Tribe Called Red, singer/songwriter Kyra Climbingbear, rising fashion designer/artist Sho Sho Esquiro, burgeoning comedy group The 1491s, and accomplished “Thoshography” photographer Anthony “Thosh” Collins!

Those are just some of our ideas…We want your ideas, too!

The purpose of the site is to expand the platform Native artists currently have and be the “go to” place for creative Native content from all corners of Turtle Island!  We’re taking a for us/by us approach to reporting on the Native art world.

With that said, we’re still looking for writers, content producers, and advertisers.  If you want to share your take on the latest Native fashion trend or artistic movement in your community, send your thoughts to us at editor@nativeremix.com.  We welcome content submissions from any and all Native writers, bloggers, journalists, artists, and fans alike!  This is your opportunity to add your voice to the conversation and have people take note.

If you have a product or business (say, an Etsy store or t-shirt company) that you would like to advertise to Native youth (age 14-34) and the young at heart!, consider being one of our founding advertisers and e-mail editor@nativeremix.com for more information about incentives and our ad rates.

Please sign up for updates on the site and our scheduled launch date, by signing up at NativeRemix.com!  (You will be rewarded with a free A Tribe Called Red album download for doing so.)

…Please help us out and spread the word – Our success depends on you!

You can follow NativeRemix.com on Twitter (@TheNativeRemix) and “like” us on Facebook (FB/NativeRemix)!  Your support is much appreciated!!!
And, again: If you, or someone you know, would like to contribute to the site or be featured by one of our writers/content producers, please be in touch! E-mail editor@nativeremix.com to submit comments/questions/suggestions, story ideas, etc.

[NativeRemix.com = Native culture…Remixed!]

Now, for the important stuff…

So, how can you win $200?  It’s easy! – Just enter my contest at 99designs.com and create a winning logo for the NativeRemix brand!  If you’re not a designer, you could encourage a friend who is a designer to enter and split the winnings however you see fit!

I would LOVE for a Native designer to win, so please tell all of your friends to take a shot!

Have a great weekend…and good luck to anyone who enters!

-NativeJournalist