Three-time Native American Music Award winning Cherokee musician Michael Bucher and Blue Hills Records have announced that Bucher’s latest musical track "I'm Not a Mascot, I'm Not a Stereotype, I've Been Watching" is now available to the public for free use in any media or video projects.
He's placed the track, in both mp3 and WAV formats, in a public Dropbox folder—just click and save.
Bucher wrote and recorded the song to generate awareness about the misuse of Native based mascots and stereotypical images by sports teams, schools and universities.
"This song was inspired by the lack of regard toward Native people and the cultural significance we all share," Bucher says. "Sports teams use offensive mascots which are a stereotype of our people. This song is a gesture to stop this continuous lack of awareness."
Bucher also says that fans of the song are encouraged to create videos, commentaries, use in public meetings, events, organized assemblies or anywhere else the song may be of benefit.
“The most important thing is that folks in Indian Country know that they are free to use my song in their videos or other projects to help promote understanding. There are so many talented people out there who want to spread this message…hopefully this song can help in that effort,” says Bucher.
Bucher is also asking for fans to send links of their own posted videos to firstname.lastname@example.org so that the videos or projects can be promoted on social media. “If you work to do something to promote awareness,” says Bucher. “We want to share it with the world and we want to promote you.”
“I am so appreciative to have been blessed by the Creator with talent in music and songwriting," Bucher says. "If all of us Natives came together and combined all of our strengths, it would make a huge difference. For example, dancers could dance to this song, other musicians could add drums or electric guitar and hip hop artists could rap throughout the song. Everyone is invited to add a bit of their own individuality.”
Bucher said users of the song should follow some guidelines to ensure the video would not be removed from some social media sites such as YouTube. “We have some simple instructions available online. We will also have a downloadable permission letter to use the song."
“This song is not just about the Cleveland Indians and Chief Wahoo," Bucher says, "this song is not just about the Washington Redskins, it is about the misunderstood ideology behind these images and what they dictate."
“So many people outside of Native culture argue that the image of the Washington Redskins is dignified simply because it is less of a cartoon than other stereotypical Native American images. But in my opinion, no matter how dignified people might think the Redskins image is, the history of the term and what type of behavior this mascot elicits from the fans is completely and profoundly unacceptable and entirely offensive to Native people.”
“My Cherokee ancestors walked the Trail of Tears, they died because they were forced from their homes in the dead of winter, and people say the Redskins term honors Native people, "Bucher adds. "I will tell you this: I would never call my ancestors, who walked several states in an attempt to live after having lost everything else, a Redskin. This song is a way to share that message because even though we are in 2015, non-native society still just does not get it. I'm hoping to add honor to the decades of struggle that such trailblazers as Suzan Shown Harjo and so many others have faced in fighting against these offensive mascots. To argue against them is a slap in the face.”
Bucher has recently been working on several new songs, including the singles “Dark Horse” and “Last Cry Out,” which were both released in 2014 and will be part of his next album project. Bucher is also the Co-founder and Chairman of the You Are Not Alone Network (YANAN) a non-profit organization which provides solutions and alternatives to youth suicide.
Additionally, Michael Bucher released his video “Sacred Ground, Extended” in October 2011, which was awarded “Best Video or Film” at 14th Annual Native American Film & Video Festival and “People’s Choice” at the First Annual Eco-Arts Awards. Bucher’s video aired November 20th 2011 at the Nickelodeon Theatre in Columbia, SC. Michael Bucher’s website is www.MichaelBucher.com.
To listen to A live interview with Michael Bucher on "I'm Not a Mascot, I'm Not a Stereotype, I've Been Watching,"tune into to Native Trailblazers radio Friday, January 16th at 7pm ET. The interview will also be available in the Native Trailblazers archives after broadcast.