Spencer "Running Bear" Pratt just told us: "Changing our names to Running Bear and White Wolf isn't meant to be disrespectful ... we respect [Native American] heritage and have a sincere acknowledgment of their beautiful culture."
Bear says he and Wolf "would like to invite any Native American tribal leaders to meet with us to help us further understand their culture" ... but we're guessing they'll only do it if cameras are rolling.
Native Appropriations has a valid point, but I think everyone refers to Native "culture" rather than "cultures" occasionally. It's a generalization that has some validity. You can find countless references to Native culture, history, or religion (all singular rather than plural) if you look.
But those of us who generalize know what we're doing. We know when it's okay to do it and when it isn't. Heidi and Spencer undoubtedly lack this knowledge.
I'm sure they think there's only one Native culture. That it resembles the Plains cultures of the 19th century. That it involves handsome braves and beautiful maidens living in harmony with nature. That these Indians have "animal totem" names like White Wolf or Running Bear.
In other words, I'm sure their views are pure stereotypes. They're regurgitating the same words and concepts people have used to describe Indians for decades. Except for the modern New Age overlay--Indian as wise, sensitive healers and shamans--their views could come straight from a 1910 Wild West show or silent film.
Good point that it's not the tribes' business to educate these "celebrities." Try visiting a powwow, museum, or reservation, you nitwits. Heck, go to a library and crack open the first book of your adult lives. Stop talking about Indians as if you're more ignorant than the average kindergartner--which you probably are, unfortunately.
For more on the subject, see Natives Criticize Speidi Names and Heidi and Spencer Adopt "Indian Names."