Identity crisis?

We don’t need someone else’s culture to define ourselves.

Why are my fellow young Native Americans emulating African American culture so much? There’s something about it that doesn’t jive with me. I feel we have a great culture we’re not developing.

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see Latinos and Asians emulating blacks to the extent we are. Even on the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) video, it’s all rap. I don’t like rap music, but I like supporting NARF. Are there alternative or rock Native bands? Or Native Americans inventing their own culture? I believe we have a lot to be proud of. I like what the Native comedian Don Burnstick said, “In all my travels around Canada and the U.S., I’ve never, ever seen a black person trying to act Indian, so why are we acting like them?” Nothing against black culture, I support their culture for what it is. I just think we need to start developing our own cultural identity.

– Matt Gilbert
Fairbanks, Alaska