University student newspaper ridicules powwow, participants
The American Indian Studies Program and the American Indian Student Council organized the powwow. Union Weekly editor Noah Kelly described the event as an "underwhelming affair" that resembled a "flea market" and said its participants acted worse than homeless people.
"The gathering of tent-vendors and fry-bread ironically circled their wagons around the Native American performers, dressed in traditional garb and dancing around a large tree on the Upper Campus lawn," Kelly wrote.
Kelly was particularly disturbed by a dance in which donations were taken for the powwow. "The entire scene felt disingenuous and cheap," he wrote.
"Donations are great, and necessary; tossing them unceremoniously on the ground is crass and borderline obscene," Kelly said. "Even the homeless have hats and cups."
The photo is of actor and powwow dancer Saginaw Grant, of course.
I'm not up on powwow traditions, but I suspect it's customary to toss donations on the ground. I'm confident people aren't doing it because they're lazy or thoughtless, as writer Noah Kelly implies.
Kelly also makes fun of Indian tacos--blaming the Indians because he's too ignorant to Google the subject--and frybread, which is basically the same thing. News flash: Indians and non-Indians both eat fried food and they're both overweight. Stop the presses!
This screed is an example of the "good for nothing" stereotype--i.e., Indians as shiftless or mercenary bums. It's a variation on the savage and uncivilized stereotypes. As usual, the goal is to put Indians down because they're not white Christian Americans like "real people."
For more on these stereotypes, see Fischer: Natives Had No Morals and 19th-Century Cartoons About Indians.