“Thus, the question arises: If prevailing popular cultural depictions of American Indians are wrong, what would be right? What would be perceived as a positive depiction? This question has no straightforward answer…To understand current imagery, it is essential to understand the history of its making…” (S. Elizabeth Bird, Dressing in Feathers, pg. 9)
I thought this section of the reading was really important. It acknowledges that there are different sides to every issue. By that I mean, when media portrayals focus on race becomes an issue, I don’t think there is a particular way to please everyone. On page 9 of Bird’s book it explains there are people who choose to identify with their culture and others who believe it’s better off not being defined by their ethnicity at all. To me, this image may not solve the questions mentioned in the quote but I do believe this is a step towards the right approach. Don’t objectify and don’t be offensive. While I can understand why some people would rather be seen as individuals and not categorized as one race, race would still be an issue because of history. So my take on it is, as long as the history of Native Americans or any other race is accurate and portrayed as a culture rather than an object, it will give the respect they deserve. Native Americans are a living, breathing, and diverse culture. Depictions of it in popular culture should not be a “fad” or “dress up,” because history and a living human race cannot – should not – be manipulate or discarded.