In the late 80s, Charlene Teters was a graduate student at the University of Illinois when she came face to face with the harmful effects of Native mascots.
Her two young children had powerful reactions when they saw the school’s mascot dressed in mock war paint, feathers and yelling war chants. That experience led Teters, Spokane Tribe, to a lifetime of working to get rid of Native mascots. Chief Illiniwek was her first target. In later years, she led hundreds of rallies to gain support to get rid of negative Native mascots and imagery. In the late 90s Teters was the subject of the documentary, “In Whose Honor?” It aired nationally on PBS stations.
This year the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act is turning 50. This legislation created a very different tribal government system for Alaska Natives. There are regional and village corporations rather than tribal councils. That’s just one example of the difference between Alaska Natives and tribes in the lower 48.
Meghan Sullivan is our special correspondent for our series on ANCSA and she joins us now to talk about the first stories she’s written about ANCSA.
A slice of our Indigenous world
- The Cleveland Indians are no more. On Friday, the team announced its new name, the Guardians.
- A state of emergency is in effect for the Hopi people in northern Arizona. Major rain storms started on Friday and quickly filled up normally dry washes.
- A new law is expanding dental therapy into tribal lands in the state of Oregon.
- The Tokyo Olympics are underway and this year there are a number of Indigenous athletes competing in various events.
Mark Trahant, Shoshone-Bannock, is editor of Indian Country Today. On Twitter: @TrahantReports Trahant is based in Phoenix.
Patty Talahongva, Hopi, is executive producer of Indian Country Today. Follow her on Twitter: @WiteSpider.
Indian Country Today is a nonprofit news organization. Will you support our work? All of our content is free. There are no subscriptions or costs. And we have hired more Native journalists in the past year than any news organization ─ and with your help we will continue to grow and create career paths for our people. Support Indian Country Today for as little as $10.