Indigenous activist and writer Jacqueline Keeler came up with hashtag #NotYourTonto to respond to the nomination. Keeler, who had also organized the hashtag #NotYourMascot to protest the Washington Redskins during the Super Bowl, teamed up with fellow indigenous activist Ethan Keller to organize a Facebook event and Twitterstorm starting the night of March 2. The National Congress of American Indians and EONM (Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry) also signed on to help promote the movement.
So you might ask yourself, “Why does it matter? Aren’t there more important things for Native people to concern themselves about?” You might also be asking yourself, “If all I know or care to know about Native people (who still control most of the future Energy resources in the United States and are huge land owners, more so than Canada or China) is a clownish mascot then how does that diminish the way my elected officials deal with the very real concerns of Native people? Do they know as little as I do? Does this (it does) affect the way schools, hospitals and veterans’ care is funded on reservations?” Does your knowledge and interest of American Indians stop at the performance of Native Mascotry? Do your elected officials know anything about the concerns of real Native people today? Do the misperceptions perpetuated by the performance of Native Mascotry reflected in the way they vote on bad laws and policy that continue to harm Native people? (Once again, they do.)
Have you read any books by Native writers and thinkers like Vine Deloria, Jr. (Standing Rock Sioux) pictured above with a photo of his great-grandfather Owl Man, Saswe Deloria taken at the White House in Washington DC (future home of the Redsk*ns Football franchise) in 1867 while a member of the Yankton Dakota Sioux treaty delegation? How do you think Owl Man would have felt at the clownish use of a headdress meant to be a sign of the faith and love his people held for him?