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Guest Column: Connecting Watertown Ki-Yi, That Washington Team, and History

Tasiyagnunpa Livermont
Tasiyagnunpa Livermont

In this guest column for the Madville Times, actual live Native American Tasiyagnunpa Livermont weighs in on Watertown's cultural misappropriation, football, war, and racism:

Nobody likes to be told they are wrong.

Let alone racist.

I get it.

You feel like you are a pretty good person, and then suddenly, into your world of your own worries and personal concerns, some ticked off minority tells you that your world is not their world.

Your coziness, your personal issues and your own worries, yes, even those charming little things that you personally find comfort in, like football, don’t matter to them.

How dare someone criticize a group of children dressed like Indians during homecoming?

Or the name of a football team?

What is more laid-back and innocent that a game?


I know, I know, Indians just need to get over it.

The Indians lost, America won, and just move on, people.

For God sakes, we bombed Japan and they’re doing just fine.

What the hell does football have to do with war, anyways?

Turns out, a whole lot.

American Football is the vehicle by which historically we have trained our military during war and kept youth fit for the military.

In fact, the military can be thanked for democratizing football, because in the 1800s only America’s elite Easterners in fancy colleges played or cared about football.

Back then, football was violent and bloody, and played by America’s most wealthy.

Last week, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart aired a segment that he had to give a lengthy forward to, because as one website put it, “Washington football fans freak out when confronted by actual live Native Americans.”

My fellow Americans, and South Dakotans, let me tell you something utterly shocking.

American Indians are not dead.

Oh, we were butchered, slaughtered, murdered and fought against, to be sure. We have suffered disease and war, both in our own lands and during major wars of American history on these shores and over seas.

We have been starved, marched, imprisoned and stolen from.

And yes, there are tribes that no longer exist in our country, utterly succumbing to Manifest Destiny.

Tribal differences aside, the homogenizing affect of hundreds of years of genocide and war has given us a solid voice.

And that voice says, stop glorifying our deaths.

Stop lying to yourselves that you are honoring a culture by calling it a slur associated with blood money.

In a country that prides itself on leading the overthrow of a government that murdered, imprisoned and yes, traded the body parts of a minority, America—you can be better than this.

The settler colonial worldview gave birth to a myriad of false stories, mythologies and justifications for how America treats those indigenous to this land.

Among these is a cultural agnosia that perpetuates us as things of legend and story.

In this agnosia, American Indians become nothing more than characterizations in stories like the Indian Maiden in Peter Pan.

Or Slurskins in the NFL.

And when presented with "actual live Native Americans," American football fans don’t know how to react.

The American Indians didn’t all die, as their history books taught them.

Even in South Dakota, in a state (and territory) named for an American Indian tribe, the Dakota, children of pioneers protected by forts against Indians, still think it is cute to re-enact their own false mythologies of Indians and dress up in faux-buckskin.

What would those children do if some South Dakota tribal students walked up to them and said, "Stop. We aren’t fantasy or figments of your historical imagination. You may not imagine us away into colonial imagery of pilgrims and Tonto and autumn displays of corn and leaves."

Would those children react the same way as fans of the Washington Slurskins did when "actual live Native Americans" went to FedEX stadium and were threatened to be "cut."

I don’t know.

I want to believe better than that of my fellow South Dakotans. I want to believe better of the children my son could play football against at State.

Cultural criticism can hit awful close to home. It can feel personal, because we are all products of our cultures, and it is against what we know about ourselves.

So is racism.

Yes, even the sort that puts on a jersey and takes to the battlefields of American football.

Go team!

Tasiyagnunpa Livermont is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. She consults with small businesses on marketing and blogs at Sustainable Dakota.


  1. mike from iowa 2014.09.30

    Excellent article and well written! I can hear whitey wingnut rivets popping as heads start to explode in an alternate universe blog. Made my day. Thanks.

  2. Thank you, Mike.

    While that sounds fun, I sure hope they have some constructive take away after said brain explosions.

  3. Lynn 2014.09.30

    Tasi great post! I've added Sustainable Dakota to my favorites.

  4. Bill Fleming 2014.09.30

    I hope this the first of many guest posts by you, Tasi. Crystal clear, succinct, and full of honest passion and intelligence. Thank you!

  5. larry kurtz 2014.09.30

    Nice work, Tasi.

    [Editor's note: I have deleted several comments related to a hijacker who wanted to drive this post away from its subject to someone else's hobby horse. I apologize for not deleting those comments sooner. Carry on. —CAH]

  6. bearcreekbat 2014.09.30

    Great post and most interesting and informative links. Thank you Tasi!

  7. Paula 2014.09.30

    Please share your Native American views on team names such as Braves, Chiefs, Warriors, etc. Are they "racist" also? Or are those acceptible? Thank you.

  8. John Hess 2014.09.30

    Here's what gets me: We're the ones who invented the cotton gin. Then we figured out how to make the 100% cotton T Shirt. Now they want to take it away from us. First thing they did was blend it with polyester: 50/50, then 60/40 (too hot). Everyone is wearing T shirts now and trying to look like us. It's not right. It's our tradition!!! Why can't they just leave us alone so we can wear our T Shirts the way we want to wear our T shirts. I am so offended by what they've done to us - even if they say they didn't mean it.

    "100% Cotton Ts for 100% Americans."

  9. Paula,

    My perspective is that it truly depends on the specific team, any surrounding mythos and the culture of the school or team in question.

    The Kansas City Chiefs versus a BIA school called the Braves or "Ohitika" are two entirely different things.

  10. lesliengland 2014.09.30

    Paula, isn't the question really the "Redskins"? the nation can slam that down and then move on to your suggestions. thx

  11. Troy 2014.09.30


    Very interesting, provocative and well-constructed. The comment you made about "American Indians not being dead" is a perspective I must reflect on a bit more. Your forebears, like mine, are dead but you, your decedents, and culture is not. At minimum, it does place greater responsibility on you and me to make sure when we mythologize, we don't create in-grained inaccuracies like we have done with Vikings, etc. (see later comments).

    As one who grew up on along the Missouri River, I've been impacted more by the Indian culture than the Welsh, Irish, Dane, and German culture of my ancestors. So am I more Indian in reality than German? :)

    A couple of questions (Sidenote, I get why you don't like the Redskins):

    I don't think the false mythology of the Vikings (who were in reality marauding bands of thugs and rapists) is insulting to Scandinavians. Many of my Indian friends from my youth were Chiefs and Packer fans and I remember many the argument on whether Len Dawson, Bart Starr or Joe Kapp was better. When I think about it now, I was arguing for the merits of the part-Indian Joe Kapp. And when we traveled to Winner, they had no problem beating the Warriors. Is the use of your cultural icons for sports teams inherently offensive or can it be done in a way that is acceptable?

    The reality is that the passage of time and inter-marriage is going to lessen the visible signs of a distinct Indian culture in even South Dakota. During WWI, Eureka was a town where more people spoke German than English. Today, you can barely see the German culture. Sports are a source of certain traditions and activities which bind communities. Using them to also remind us of our collective history is good in my mind. Do you really think we will be better off in 100 years if we sanitize Indian icons from our local sports teams?

    Tasi, just so you understand my perspective. There are three friends I have had for 40 years who are Indian. Unless I get real convincing arguments from Indians I don't know, I'm likely to stick with the view of my friends on this issue whose views you can infer by my comments.

  12. Bill Fleming 2014.09.30

    A simple rule of thumb on team names (via Bob Costas) would be, if you look it up in the dictionary and it's used as a racial slur, a pejorative, and/or a term of disparagement), don't use it.

    From the Oxford dictionary (American English) (US):

    "Redskin" is first recorded in the late 17th century and was applied to the Algonquian peoples generally, but specifically to the Delaware (who lived in what is now southern New York State and New York City, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania). Redskin referred not to the natural skin color of the Delaware, but to their use of vermilion face paint and body paint.

    In time, however, through a process that in linguistics is called pejoration, by which a neutral term acquires an unfavorable connotation or denotation, redskin lost its neutral, accurate descriptive sense and became a term of disparagement.

    Red man is first recorded in the early 17th century and was originally neutral in tone.

    Red Indian is first recorded in the early 19th century and was used by the British, far more than by Americans, to distinguish the Indians of the subcontinent from the Indians of the Americas.

    All three terms are dated or offensive. American Indian and Native American are now the standard umbrella terms. Of course, if it is possible or appropriate, one can also use specific tribal names (Cheyenne, Nez Percé, etc.).


    In short, language is alive, as are the people who use it. My position is, the person who is offended has the final say. It would be unethical to discount or minimize their feelings on the matter, since they obviously care more about the words use than the person using it. An untended insult from the sender is still insulting to the receiver.

  13. lesliengland 2014.09.30

    hi troy-"The reality is that the passage of time and inter-marriage is going to lessen the visible signs of a distinct Indian culture in even South Dakota." been to a rez lately? notice that 1868 treaty tribes are getting ready to take back "our Black Hills" (trademark)?

    wanna tell enlighten us?

  14. JeniW 2014.09.30

    If there were sports teams named "Blackskins," "Whiteskins", "Yellowskins," "Brownskins," or "Skinheads" (in honor of players who have male pattern baldness,) how many people would be offended by those names, and how many people would consider the names as being honors?

    IMO, there should not be any teams named for humans, or groups of humans, nor use humans as mascots, including the Minnesota Vikings team. There are thousands of other names that can used.

  15. John Hess 2014.09.30

    Too many people make whining a profession. While yes we should feel bad about their pain that doesn't mean they are right and should impact policy. The PC crowd should stop appeasing. For goodness sake I've worked with white men who have assured me their color is the reason for their lack of success. They had an obvious sense of entitlement and their work habits were poor. If you're from Madison you may know why people say Rosebud moved here: Unreliable workforce.

    Sign me: Tired Of All The Excuses, and I think of myself as a Progressive.

    PS: I need some cement work at a reasonable price and I don't care if you are purple.

  16. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.30

    John Hess, when you can provide evidence that the white man created cotton, your cotton gin and t shirt analogy means nothing.
    I've had this discussion so many times throughout my life and the one constant is that the arguments don't really change.
    My favorite is the white guy that contends because he has a couple of Indian friends and they agree with him the racial slurs used by sports teams is acceptable.
    News Flash! Indians are individuals and differing opinions on a variety of subjects, particularly at the tribal level.
    I can make the argument that since Cory, Bill, Larry, Deb and others on Madville are my friends that I should only listen to and be influenced by them.

  17. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.30

    John Hess,
    When you hire these purple or maybe a redskin or two, will you pay them equally? South Dakota white men have a reputation for unfair pay and then whine when Indians won't work for them.

  18. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.30

    Native tribes have survived for centuries because of their tribalism, it has protected their very existence. Will Indian culture and language be here in the next 100 years? Yes.
    I have great great great grand nieces and nephews that have more Indian blood than I do and are being raised and educated in their culture.
    Tribes have survived against tremendous odds, we were outnumbered, Lincoln and Andrew Jackson tried to kill us all, the government and society imposed every possible restriction on us, and we survived.
    Yes, in a 100 years we'll be here, will your people or will find another source of greed and move to Mars?

  19. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.09.30

    Umm, let's see. First, excellent post Ms. Livermont.


    I'm thinking of team nicknames like "Hayseeds." When I was a kid I really hated the Hayseed image of farm people. We were supposed to be dumb, ignorant, of limited personal hygiene, uneducated, and socially and culturally isolated. In fact, that still ticks me off.

    Remember the tv shows Green Acres, Petticoat Junction and Hee Haw? Man I hated them! I found them embarrassing, shaming and demeaning. That's because I knew there were people who believed those images were factual. There were and are literally millions of Americans who still believe that.

    In both 1975 and 1976 I played in the Women's College World Series in Omaha, NE. There were no divisions of universities for women then, so we competed against the UCLA Bruins, the Texas Longhorns, the Georgia Bulldogs, etc. We were all staying in a big hotel and ran into other teams in the lobby in the evenings.

    When opponents discovered we were from SD, they were fascinated. (BTW, we were all lily white, mostly German and Norwegian.) They sincerely wondered if we had to fight our way through the Indians to get there. We told them that the cavalry in the forts along the way protected us and when we reached Sioux City in Iowa, we were able to access motorized transportation.

    They believed us! I was completely insulted! Nineteen Seventy-five!

    So how would it feel to know that people all around you are making those kinds of assumptions about you wherever you go? A team named the "Hayseeds", and featuring a mascot in dirty bib overalls, handkerchief in pocket, missing teeth, dopey expression, etc., is going to further that image as what we are really like.

    That's why I hated those "fake rural" shows of the 1970s.

    BYW, one or two of my teammates were not upset with the way our competitors saw us. Does anyone think that made it okay since we weren't unanimous?

  20. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.30

    That is a good observation, I knew some white kids on the reservation that felt what you felt along with the shame of living on the reservation.
    A number of years ago I was a host for a group of students from New York City that were spending the summer on the reservation, they had all the stereotypical questions about Indians. Questions were obviously based on faulty history books and movies.
    As isolated as the reservation is, it quickly became apparent that I knew more about urban and suburban life then knew about the reservation. It was the city kids that were the ones isolated, their knowledge didn't go beyond their city limits.

  21. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.09.30

    That's a good observation Roger. Each church I've served has been rural and the folks had many questions about urban citizens. Their questions clearly came from media stereotypes.

    "Blacks like flashy clothes. They are all in gangs, etc."

    That image of the WHS group is an example of media creating and/or sustaining a stereotype. Intent is irrelevant. Regardless of how strongly the displayers of that image feel that they are doing something honorable, their intentions are not visible.

    "Indians still wear buckskin clothing and shout 'Ki Yi'." Sigh.

  22. Steve Sibson 2014.10.01

    Thanks Cory, we now understand who the real racists are.

  23. Paula 2014.10.01

    My kids have attended summer camp in another state, and one time a camper heard they were from South Dakota and thought we still had covered wagons out here! The lack of education about South Dakota history isn't just about the Native Americans.

    To be really honest, between the previous post and this one, it really bothers me that it is insinuated (maybe even outright said) that just because I am white and happen to not see racism in the homecoming activities in Watertown, that I am racist. It really couldn't be farther from the truth. I have done a lot with different charities and made donations in our state to help Native Americans on the reservations. Which up until now I didn't feel I need to share with anyone, but when people insinuate that I'm racist, I have to defend how I am not. I have had many friends from many different nationalities since childhood.

  24. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.10.01

    Paula, I don't think that many people who like the Watertown thing are racist. A few probably are. I think it hasn't occurred to you or others to imagine the activities through the eyes of others. That's understandable to me. One of the benefits of a discussion forum like this is just that opportunity. You get to hear how your activities affect others.

    I think feeling shock, defensiveness and perhaps even outrage is reasonable. It was Watertown's little thing that's been happening for a long time. Suddenly you're learning that there are many folks who do not find it benign, but rather offensive and even painful.

    It's a big adjustment. I'm hoping that those of you who've felt attacked can eventually take a step back and reassess what you'd like your school's festivities to symbolize, not only in your insular community, but for any who see it.

  25. mike from iowa 2014.10.01

    Roger C-when kids from a large city ask questions,their words bounce off skyscraper walls right back at them. No one hears them amid the noise pollution and no one has time to educate them while avoiding traffic congestion.

    Old Cheech and Chong routine about inner-city kids going to the mountains for the first time. One asks what is that smell? Another says it's pine trees,mfer,pine trees. Then the first one asks what's a pine tree?

  26. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.01

    Troy, I made the same argument about racial/cultural diffusion through intermarriage back in the early 1990s, when I had to take SDSU's Human Relations class for teachers. I said cultural lines would become so blurred that multiculturalism would become irrelevant.

    But that cake ain't baked yet. Even if my white daughter marries a Lakota man, I don't expect our grandson to look back fondly on our current eruptions of cultural intolerance.

    Deb offers an apt response to the false Vikings analogy. The teams at Augustana and TCF Stadium aren't called the "F***ers from Oslo" or the "Ignorant Oles". They do not expose members of a minority culture to a recognized racial slur. If Pine Ridge called its basketball team the Hayseeds and brought a bucktoothed, bib-overalled mascot in white face to a game in Winner, we'd have a problem.

    But even that hypothetical, like your Vikings talk, fails to capture the full offense of the name Tasi is talking about, because it fails to include power in the equation. No one should slur anyone, but racial slurs from the majority toward the minority carry extra moral offense, because they reinforce an unjust power structure.

  27. Kathy 2014.10.01

    Someone brought up the term "warrior". The dictionary defines warrior as:

    1. a person engaged or experienced in warfare; soldier.
    2. a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness, as in politics or athletics.

    Notice that there is no mention of Native Americans. Warrior can apply to anyone. There were Roman warriors, Greek warriors, Shogun warriors...I could go on.

    R-skin is a dictionary defined slur. You can justify it from here to next Friday, but its not going to change the fact that even the dictionary defines this as a slur.

    Although I wasn't born in SD, I have a "you're from South Dakota, oh how cute" followed by stereotypes story, too. This past summer, I had to go to the Detroit area. We were visiting this little museum in one of the suburbs and when I told the lady who ran it that I lived in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the first thing was she thought how cute it was that we had a waterfall in the middle of town. Then she brought up the 2011 Missouri River flooding and how "bootstrappy" we were because we didn't need any help from the government. I was too annoyed by her condescension to correct her on her delusion that it was the citizens themselves that did everything and not one person from any level or branch of government was involved.

    I will say that I have had more contact and exposure to different cultures, particularly Native American culture here than I did when I lived in Wisconsin. One thing that I learned about life in general is that when you say or do anything, in the end, it's not your intentions that matter, but rather how its received because perception is reality. A white person justifying the use of a slur as "this is an honor; therefore, you need to shut up and remember your place" needs to let go of their own ego, open their ears and listen, I mean, really listen to the reason why the other person doesn't see this as an honor. Less ego. More empathy.

    This was an excellent article, btw.

  28. mike from iowa 2014.10.01

    Substitute guerrero for warrior and see what,if anything, happens.

  29. Troy 2014.10.01


    First, I find the term Redskin offensive and said so. I am trying to talk about this issue with regard to terms where one can make the case it isn't inherently offensive.

    Second, I want to hear Tasi's answers to my questions. I hear enough from people whose exposure to Indian culture is at best tangential and too often seen through their own bias.

    Third, culture is not confined to race. A white person raised on the reservation can be a lot more "Indian" culturally than an Indian raised in Laredo Texas. Tasi is credible to me mostly because of where she is from and not the color of her skin.

  30. lesliengland 2014.10.01

    1. troy, my kids, in their more often exposure to sx falls, tell me there is a definite "thing" going on there where residents have an issue with rapid city and reservations not being up to their standards. it comes out when rapid city or indians are discussed.

    since you are "in the know", what is this "thing"?

    2. next, you say redskin is offensive, but then equivocate and assert you still want to quibble over words that are not inherently racist. (you got mixed up about whether bringing up "birther" and "obama is a muslim" in a previous thread).

    what does, "inherently racist" mean to you? hardrocker is pretty innocuous but there is nothing innocuous about redskin. hardrocker does not have much ethnic conotation.

    cigar store indian. neil young has one onstage, and i am not sure why. you may have one in your bar downstairs and are looking for justification to keep it.

    3. secondly, you don't like non-indians (me) with "tangential exposure to indian culture" speaking about this because of "their own bias". so, if a non-indian sees mockery in WHS homecoming, that is a result of bias or insufficient cultural exposure?? not sure that realy follows. please clarify your insight.

    4. thirdly, a full-blood, raised off-reservation by a white person, is less indian than your white person raised on the rez ? is culture nuture or nature?

  31. Troy 2014.10.01


    1) I have no idea to what you are referring.

    2) Redskin is reference to skin color which is how we define races and the term is a slur. That makes it "inherently racist."

    3) I've heard your non-Indian argument. That you see mockery is your perspective. I have to neither agree, accommodate it nor worry about why you came to that conclusion. You aren't being "mocked," to the extent that is the reality.

    4) By definition, culture is "the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time" and asserting that "race is the primary determinant of traits and capabilities" is by definition racism.

  32. Steve Sibson 2014.10.01

    "I think it hasn't occurred to you or others to imagine the activities through the eyes of others. That's understandable to me. One of the benefits of a discussion forum like this is just that opportunity."

    OK, then here is how I see it from a perspective of a white male Christian conservative. Based on Cory's actions yesterday, I have been basically told to go to the back of the bus and shut up. You will pay for the gas so that the rainbow people can ride for free at the front of the bus while complaining about how oppressed they are by those racist jerks riding in the back of the bus. And even though we wear clothing designed and manufactured by the white man's racist capitalistic system, the jerks at the back of the bus can't wear clothes from our culture, because that proves they are racists.

    Perhaps now some will see that the emperors of the New Age Theocracy are wearing no clothes.

  33. larry kurtz 2014.10.01

    Troy, have your kids all attended catholic school?

  34. Troy 2014.10.01

    Larry, not sure of the relevance but no. Two did and two didn't. And, possibly to your point: Yes, their exposure to Indian culture is significantly less than mine. But, it is inherent in growing up in Sioux Falls vs. Pierre/Gettysburg.

    FYI, the grade school my two youngest attended is of a higher % minority than the Sioux Falls public schools (largest cultural minority is Sudanese, then Hispanic).

  35. Bill Fleming 2014.10.01

    Sibby, I think you should dress up like an Indian any time you want to. Then go to your job and walk around town and notice the difference in how pepole treat you.

    Listen carefully to the things they say. I'm thinking you'll learn more from that than you will pissing and moaning all your "poor-me" bullshit on Madville.

    Go for it. Keep good notes. Then get back to us with your report. Maybe have a discreet video crew follow you around to document.

    After that, you can try dressing up like a woman. "Sibby Doubtfire."

    I think you might actually be onto something here, Sib.

  36. Steve Sibson 2014.10.01

    The "poor me" BS is coming from the Neo-Marxist left, as evidenced by Tasi's post. Sad that people like you assume that only whites are racists. That is why you are the true racist. Hate comes in all colors.

  37. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.01

    Notice how quickly Sibson once again is attempting to make his neo-idiocy about him. This discussion is NOT about you Steve.

  38. Lynn 2014.10.01

    Steve rather than constantly hijacking and promoting your hobbyhorse here on this blog why don't you start reposting on your own blog where you are free to express who you are and your beliefs without that dreaded persecution. Otherwise it's the same old broken record of neo-Marxism, neo-Fascism, New Age Theocracy and Corporatism.

  39. Steve Sibson 2014.10.01

    Lynn, thanks for proving my point.

  40. lesliengland 2014.10.01

    Sibson-I have responded strongly whenever wiken spews his "dead culture bull sheit". I don't know if he hates or just had a difficult experience doing business on the rez. I don't care. in words you can understand-this will not stand, dude. you-I don't know why you are the way you are here, but either "hate comes in all colors" is a trite slogan on your part, or you say tasi conveys hate in her post. this will not stand, here.

    take your ill-considered judgments elsewhere.

  41. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.01

    Sibson's contradictions are too many to point out.

    First he condemns Indians for opposing the WHS pageantry with "poor me BS", and turns right around and claims Cory is a racist for editing his BS and that he is the one being persecuted and being sent to the back of the bus.
    Steve, this is NOT about you, it is about the use and abuse of Native American mascots in sport teams.

  42. mike from iowa 2014.10.01

    For whitey wingnut,the only time no means no is when they can block progress in the bowels of Congress. Spoiled little brats-I want it my way or you'll be sorry.

  43. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.01

    Today the Republican Party's inherent racism is on full display.
    A candidate forum or debate is being held on the Pine Ridge Reservation and none of the major Republican Party candidate will be there to talk issues with Native American voters.
    Rounds, Daugaard, and Noem all refuse to step foot on the reservation for fear the Indian thing will contaminate them.
    This is the second time that the Power 3 have given the back of their hand in this campaign.

  44. Bill Fleming 2014.10.01

    Roger, that's probably because they think if they show up, their opponents, their Indian constituents, and the press will be all over them like (pardon the expression) "white on rice." For them it might be like Barak Obama showing up in Lusk Wyoming to debate Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin about gun control. LOL (...sure would be fun to watch though, wouldn't it?)

  45. JeniW 2014.10.01

    The Power 3's boycott can mean different things:

    1. That they do not buy into the token visits to the reservations to "look good." (Which I do not think is the actual reason.)

    2. More realistically, they have no interest, and no desire, to be representatives for the people living in SD.

    3. There are not "enough" Republicans or voters living on the reservations to make it worth their while.

    Native Americans are not alone. Noem and Thune do not seem to care about people with disabilities either. Duagaard gets some credit for dealing with the concerns of individuals with disabilities, but not a lot.

    Because there are Native America who happen to have disabilities, the Native Americans with disabilities are hit with a double whammy.

  46. mike from iowa 2014.10.01

    Bill,I'd be surprised if either dickless cheney or the grifter would set foot on a stage with the Black Potus,but if they didn't it would be Obama's fault for being distasteful to their whitey wingnut privileged sensibilities. Paylin blamed Obama for the brawl her family was in last month. She said this never happened under Raygun.

  47. Steve Sibson 2014.10.01

    "that he is the one being persecuted and being sent to the back of the bus"

    Roger, lesliengland proves the point:

    "take your ill-considered judgments elsewhere"

    So, is it your judgment that only whites can be racists? Only colored can be persecuted? And anybody you can prove otherwise need to write on their own blog? Get the hell out of the Madville community. Is that your idea of tolerance?

  48. Steve Sibson 2014.10.01

    And no body has addressed my question regarding the substance of the Whites are not allowed to wear Indian clothes, but Indians can wear clothes designed and made by American capitalists? Lesli needs to address that issue before she can argue that Tasi is not a racist. Better yet, Tasi needs to address that issue.

  49. larry kurtz 2014.10.01

    Uh, Steve? Nobody needs to address your stupid shit.

  50. Steve Sibson 2014.10.01

    Right Larry, you are the troll today.

  51. Francis Schaffer 2014.10.01

    Don't hold back, Larry tell us how you really feel!

  52. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.01

    Dammit Sibson, shut up, the adults of having a relevant discussion on racism

  53. Steve Sibson 2014.10.01

    "Dammit Sibson, shut up" and get to the back of the bus where you belong.

  54. Lynn 2014.10.01

    I know Bill don't feed the trolls. SibbyOnline last post May 30th 2014. Steve please go back to your old blog you can post about the pending new world order and how the planet Uranus is able to function properly without blockage from those pesky NeoMarxists and NeoFascists.

  55. JeniW 2014.10.01

    Yes, anyone can wear clothing and jewelry made by Native Americans as long as they purchase them, or are received as gifts. There are web-sites that sell Native American clothing, jewelry and accessories. It is not that hard to find web-sites that sell Native American clothing.

    Given that anyone can wear Native American made clothing and etc, Native Americans can wear clothing made in the U.S., or any other place in the world.

    Non-Native Americans may not wear Native American clothing for the same reason why I do not wear dresses, skirts, neckties, "hoodies" and etc, that is because they do not appeal to me.

    The issue is not about clothing, it is about the students playing Indians.

  56. Steve Sibson 2014.10.01

    "The issue is not about clothing, it is about the students playing Indians."

    Tasi said:

    "How dare someone criticize a group of children dressed like Indians during homecoming?"

    JeniW, you need to address your issue with Tasi, and whether her position is one of racism.

  57. larry kurtz 2014.10.01

    Steve, you need to quit wearing your colon as a hat.

  58. JeniW 2014.10.01

    No, Steve I do not NEED to address anything with Tasi. If I wanted to ask questions of, or have comments for Tasi, I would ask her, I do not need you to be involved.

    I was responding to YOUR question. You are the one who wrote "whites are not allowed to wear Indian clothes....."

  59. larry kurtz 2014.10.01

    Imagine a skit where students at Little Wound dress up as soldiers and pretend to slaughter 300 people every 29th of December.

  60. Paula 2014.10.01

    Actually, I would respect that! It's part of true history. And it will make a lot of people very uncomfortable, but we all need to feel that.

    However, how can we all grow and come together from what has happened in the past? The government needs to make good on what was promised to the Native Americans absolutely for a start. After that, I think respecting each other, and coming together in all things is the goal especially in states where there are reservations.

  61. Steve Sibson 2014.10.01

    Larry, Indians were soldiers during the Civil War:

    A few Native American tribes, such as the Creek and the Choctaw, were slaveholders and found a political and economic commonality with the Confederacy. The Choctaw owned over 2,000 slaves.

    So Indians were racists back then too. Larry how would an reenactment of Indian slaveholders dressed in Civil War soldier dress be received?

  62. larry kurtz 2014.10.01

    When Columbus arrived in the West Indies there were as many as 100 million indigenous in what would become the United States: today there are about 2.5 million. Fake Indian garb based on a fairy tale is racism: it's just that simple.

  63. Troy 2014.10.01


    The general consensus estimate for the population of North, Central and South America (not just what would become the United States) in total in 1492 is 30-50 million people with 100 million being the top estimate and accepted by few. Further, most believe there is 3 to 5 times more Indians living in South Dakota now than when the Verendrye Brothers visited Pierre.

  64. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.01

    One of my best friends is a white man, he doesn't have a name mind you, he is my white friend.
    My white friend has always been interested in Lakota history and cultural, at first I thought he was a wanna be Indian, but I later found out that he had no Lakota blood at all, he just believes that he is Lakota.
    His belief is so much a part of him that he leaned Lakota arts and crafts and is an excellent beader, he has beaded on a lot of his clothing and even has a fully beaded vest on buffalo hide.
    My white friend has many Lakota friends and they have accepted him like a brother, he does wear his "Indian clothes" to ridicule or demean the Lakota, he wears it as an honor and a tribute to a great culture.

  65. lesliengland 2014.10.01

    troy-google smallpox ect.

  66. larry kurtz 2014.10.01

    Troy: i misread the article. The Verendrye party kept lousy notes and there were no reservations trapping people in one place.

  67. Troy 2014.10.01


    I was just correcting what I thought maybe you had mis-remembered. Not castigating you. Also, not relying on Verendrye notes (They didn't even know they had made it this far south). Just what archeologists and other historians estimate as the population of what is now South Dakota in the middle of the 1700's.

  68. lesliengland 2014.10.01

    boston herald 10.01.14 "apologizes" and cartoonist lies over racist obama depiction (watermelon toothpaste intruder offers)-tells me things they are a'changin. repubs are getting away with less and less. WHS can educate us all.

  69. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.10.02

    Larry, this is hilarious!
    "Steve, you need to quit wearing your colon as a hat."

  70. Steve Sibson 2014.10.02

    Do Deb, did you know there were Indian slaveholders? Anybody read that in a public school textbook?

  71. larry kurtz 2014.10.02

    Jesus was a slaveholder, Steve.

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