about

“Proud to Be” is a video that challenges stereotypic and derogatory representations of Native peoples by presenting diverse and empowering portrayals of Native tribes and communities. The video is part of Change the Mascot, a national campaign to end the use of the racial slur “Redskins” as the team name and mascot for the professional football team in Washington, D.C.

discussion

How are Native Americans portrayed in the popular media? Where do we most frequently see or hear about their stories? What clothes, accessories, and other cultural expressions are commonly associated with Native peoples?

How does this video work to present diverse representations of Native peoples, and challenge common stereotypes? What does it say about class and social resources, visibility in the United States, military service, history, and geographic location of Native people?

What words are used to describe Native people in the video? What is the function of describing social and relational roles (such as mother, father, son, daughter, patriot), occupations (teacher, rancher, solider, doctor), or personal characteristics (strong, underserved, resilient)? How are prominent historical figures and names of Native tribes and communities used to show the diversity of this group?

Which football team is referenced in the last clip of this video? How many other professional U.S. football teams have names or mascots associated with Native tribes? What is the argument for keeping and celebrating these team names, and what is the argument for changing them?