April 24, 2007

"Funny, you don't look Indian"

Native women leaders take part in 'Funny, You Don't Look Indian'Wright said she has experienced the "funny, you don't look Indian" syndrome, but her response these days is different than in earlier times.

"I think as I've gotten older I try to respond and give them an education, whereas maybe in my 20s and 30s, I was very flippant and kind of sassy; but as you get older, you learn that's not the way to go," Wright said.

The "funny, you don't look Indian" syndrome is not necessarily racism, Wright said.

"It's ignorance, though I think ignorance is a hard word; but if all you know is the Indian or Native American you see on TV, that's all you know. Unless you live in a state where there's a Native American presence, there's no chance for you to get acquainted with Native American people. You could see someone on the street and never know they're Native American. We're out there and sometimes we blend in and sometimes we don't," Wright said.

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