Tell Gov. Fallin: Words are not enough to respect native people!

Join RH Reality Check, Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, and
other signers to tell Gov. Mary Fallin and the Oklahoma State Legislature to restore the Indian Affairs Commission, add a Secretary of Native American Affairs to the cabinet, and develop a Native history and cultural curriculum for government employees and public schools.


TTell Gov. Fallin: Words are not enough to respect native people!<

Background: On April 26, barely a month after Christina Fallin misappropriated a headdress, a sacred Native American cultural item, and posed in it for her band, Pink Pony, the band exploited the publicity by suggesting to fans they'd appear in Native regalia again. In response to a silent protest led by a Native musician, Fallin performed a mock war dance that showed off the back of her shawl, which had the word "sheep" written across the back as an insult to the protesters she was already expecting, while her boyfriend and another musician mocked astounded Native attendees from the stage. [1]

Governor Mary Fallin, Christina Fallin's mother, said that she thought her daughter's actions were inappropriate. She said that she had great respect for Oklahoma tribal members, their traditions and culture, and that tribal governments were important partners to the government of Oklahoma. Is that why the governor and the legislature took aggressive action in 2011 to dissolve official communications with the 39 American Indian Tribal Nations within state borders, replacing the 43-year-old Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission with a single overworked liaison? [2] Was that respect?

We've seen that by the time someone is performing redface in public, they've been taught so much disrespect that apologetic words aren't enough to fix what's wrong.

This is why we are calling on Governor Fallin and the Oklahoma State Legislature to restore the Indian Affairs Commission, add a Secretary of Native American Affairs to the cabinet, and develop a Native history and cultural curriculum for government employees and public schools.

Because we wonder what Christina Fallin learned about Native people from Oklahoma schools. Instead of having a Native American history and culture curriculum like many states with an even smaller Native population do, many Oklahoma schools do "Land Run" reenactments where Native Americans are misrepresented and mocked, and forced to reenact an ugly part of US history.

When the Goodblanket family of the Cheyenne-Arapaho tribe called 911 for help preventing their son who had a disability from harming himself, and Custer County law enforcement officers shot him to death within moments of entering the home, we wonder what these men were taught about Native Americans by a state government that will barely speak to our leaders. What did these officers learn about Native families from seeing their governor act so aggressively to remove a Native child from her tribal family just last year, [4] as she did with Baby Veronica?

The government of Oklahoma needs to answer this pervasive, constant racism towards Native Americans with meaningful actions that prove respect. Stand with us to demand that they live up to their words.

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[1] - "Native Americans React to Christina Fallin's Fake War Dance Performance," by Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, April 27, 2014.

[2] - "Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission Heading Toward Final Days," by Brian Daffron, June 13, 2011.

[3] - "Autopsy reveals Cheyenne-Arapaho teen was shot 7 times by deputies," by Levi Rickert, NativeNewsOnline.net, March 22, 2014.

[4] - "Fallin Signs Extradition Papers For 'Baby Veronica's' Biological Father," NewsOn6.com, September 4, 2013.