October 24, 2006

Think tanks rethink Indians

Language is crucial to garnering support, leaders say“The neoconservative movement has used cognitive linguistics successfully over the years to advance its political agenda with such words as 'tax relief' and 'family values' because these terms frame their message in ways that persuade their audience to support them,” said Parker. “We, too, need to know how to frame our message of tribal rights and values to win the support of the American public.”

Nisqually elder Billy Frank Jr., a regular at the table, said, “We need these 'think tanks' all around the country. Our people are beginning to be identified as 'casino Indians' and not as the people of the land or of the salmon. The casinos help us economically but they are not who we are. We are our languages, we are our culture, we are our natural resources, we are our spirituality and we are our prayers.”

1 comment:

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Obviously, becoming identified as 'casino Indians' only is because Natives surfaced in public view due to the casinos. Otherwise, they were rarely seen or heard about. But the image only can be changed if more begins to happen from the proceeds of casino wealth. So far, especially here in Oklahoma, such economic advantage merely is being used to advance whoever holds political power within the tribes. Case in point are the Cheyenne-Arapahoes, who wield that power like warlords or CEOs, or even the Oneidas who believe they are forwarding the cause of their people but in fact are creating media careers for only a few of their number.
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'