A Message from the American Indian Movement, April 2007
"We are honoring Indians; you should feel honored."
Would you feel honored seeing objects you consider holy being misused? Holy objects such as feathers, face painting and traditional dress are neither being used in sacred ceremony nor any cultural setting; they are being used as entertainment and merchandising opportunities. We Native people are saying this misuse of our sacred objects is no less than a mockery of our traditional cultures, regardless of intent. It is insulting.
Would you feel honored to be someone else’s “good luck token”? A mascot (from the word “sorcerer”) is defined as any symbol, animal, or object adopted by a group to bring that group good luck. In other words, pretend “Indians” like Wahoo have little to do with honor, but merely present to impart luck. We Native people find being treated as a token dehumanizing. It is not honor — it is harassment.
"Aren't you proud of your warriors and chiefs?"
Yes, Native peoples are proud of the warriors who fought to protect our cultures and preserve our lands. Our peoples were murdered by greed for our lands; forcibly removed, systematically tortured and raped. Untold numbers of our warriors, our young ones and old ones, our men and our women gave their very lives to protect our land, preserve our cultures, and feed our children. Baseball is a game.
SHAME ON YOU CLEVELAND!
WE ARE PEOPLE NOT MASCOTS!