By Woawachin Suta Win
The escalating debacle regarding whether or not the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s Attorney General is an American Indian takes me back to my days as an undergraduate at a top university in the United states almost two decades ago…….
It seems to me that non-Indians often appropriate Native identity in the United States not only to take advantage of perceived benefits in higher education and employment as a racial minority, but also to oppress Natives by infiltrating our communities at the highest levels. Or, just as ominously, by placing themselves in positions of authority as Native Americans within the mainstream a la Ward Churchill. While in his case, Mr Churchill (whose writings were fascinating and inspiring to me regardless of his status as a white man) was more radical than most Native radicals, in the local situation we appear to have the more common phenomenon of the fake Indian or wannabe being an apologist for the traditionally white institutions that figure prominently in the social problems we face and overcome every single day as individuals and as a people.