Cultural Appropriation Of Native American Culture In Schools Essay

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There is a fine line between cultural appropriation and appreciation, however many Americans struggle to differentiate the two. Cultural exploitation of Native Americans can be seen in many fields, one of them being in schools. In addition, the fashion industry is one of the most common places that cultural appropriation of Native American can be seen in. Authentic Native American traditions have also been exploited by society. Americans’ common misconceptions of Native American history and culture negatively affects Indigenous communities by perpetuating stereotypes as well as cultural appropriation.
Cultural exploitation of Native Americans is a prevalent issue within schools. One of the primary ways that this can be seen in, and has been …show more content…

Sports are an essential part of pop culture in the United States, which is why the appropriation of Native American culture through sport team mascots in schools is widespread to its students. These mascots teach students that the stereotypes that they represent are accurate. However, in actuality, using parts of Native American culture for sport team mascots just feeds off of common misconceptions and not the actual facts. The culture is then stripped of its authenticity and replaced with this misinformation, which only leads to more people, students, exploiting it. As the end result, Native Americans are further discriminated against. Additionally, there are flaws in schools’ curriculum as it lacks to teach students accurate Native American history. A large portion of material in the United States K-12 curriculum uses past tense when referring to Indigenous people. This, evidently, makes Native children feel invisible and invalid and also has non-Native children grow up to be adults who still do not have a proper understanding of present-day Native culture (Harper). Schools using …show more content…

In 2022, Aviator Nation, a boho clothing brand based in California, was called out for committing cultural appropriation by the Native American owned brand, NSRGNTS. The founder of Aviator Nation, Paige Mycoskie, has been taking Native American clothing and selling colonized versions of them. One of the items that is most notable of this on their website is traditional beaded moccasins. As noted by NSRGNTS in a social media post, “They are being referred to as “hippie slippers”, “boho”, “eccentric”, along with all those other usual cringey terms. Traditional moccasins are very sacred, and not to be used as a fashion accessory on hipsters for exploitation. Every color, pattern, design, and material has significant cultural meaning” (NSRGNTS). Moccasins, along with other items sold by the brand, are a part of traditional Native American regalia, which Mycoskie is misusing to financially benefit her company. The adjectives that she uses to describe her products to customers is incredibly misleading as it shows the articles of clothing to be of a particular style when, in actuality, it is a part of Native American culture. The fashion industry, and brands that take part in cultural appropriation such as Aviator Nation, cause harm to systematically oppressed groups by spreading stereotypes and misconceptions. In fact, an article shared that “The Native

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