His father, Kent, an Oklahoma City insurance man who played line for the Sooners in the late 1970s, said his family has not closely followed its Indian culture. He has welcomed the chance to become more acquainted with his background, but ...
"I'm just an American—hell, I'm an Oklahoman," said Kent Bradford, who said his "first powwow" will occur when Sam is honored at the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic at its spring powwow.
That stance doesn't trouble Miller of the Cherokee Nation.
"Citizens of our nation don't have to act a certain way or be a certain way; it's just like being a citizen of the United States," he said. "We can all be proud to be American citizens, but it's something that's not necessarily in the forefront of our minds every day, either. It's taken for granted."
But that was 40-50 or more years ago. Do Indians still feel that way? Judging by this article, apparently.
We see this with the mascot phenomenon also. Many Indians still say it's the only "honor" they ever get so they'll take it. For instance, according to one study:
When asked why they didn't mind being used as a mascot even if they felt it disrespectful, Fryburg said, students responded: "It's better than being invisible."