Carrie Baranet gives us the long history of a GI Joe action figure in her Awful "Native Inspired" Art blog:
N.A. Action Figure Pt. 1: The Not So Changing Face of Spirit Iron-KnifeThink about Native American Action figures. What is the first thing that comes to mind? Spirit Iron-Knife, of course! If you were a child of the '80s, like me, G.I. JOE was a big part of your childhood along with He-Man, Transformers and, oh yeah, Star Wars. G.I. JOE had a Native guy, though. Okay, so he was a walking stereotype with bird. What is up with the bird, anyway? I've never met a Native American falconer, have you?Comment: For more on the subject, see Native GI Joes and Tracker Kwinn in GI JOE.