This is a good read. When I went to my first college and met a lot of Native American students at various anti-mascot events, pow wows, etc., I got to learn more about Native American culture. (My struggling knowledge of it was based solely around a Native American troop I met when I was in Canada for a Girl Scouts trip.) It didn’t take me long before I started regretting this “Native American” outfit I wore on Halloween one year. In my mind, it just looked so cool and my parents were all right with it. But after getting to know the people behind all the feathers, leather and the actual meaning behind these events, I felt like an ass wearing this “fake” costume. I think quite a bit of cultural appropriation could stop if people were to bother getting to know the people they’re mimicking. You learn very quickly that it’s not a game, this is their lives.

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Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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