“Forget Winnetou!” Help Us Reach our #Crowdfunding Goal

crowdfundeditThe crowdfunding campaign for our documentary film Forget Winnetou! Going Beyond Native Stereotypes in Germany is now live. Please drop by, read more about the story behind our film, our aims and who is involved. Check out our perks and consider donating but most of all, we just ask that you please help us out by sharing our message around in some way.

What’s unique about our documentary? To date, there is no other film or project like it in Germany that addresses the issue of stereotyping, and which includes a strong, wider perspective from Native Americans. We’ll present “healthier” more culturally respectful ways that decolonize minds and media, while giving Natives an opportunity to present themselves.

Crowdfunding campaign link https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/forget-winnetou–2/x/6473967.

Website https://forgetwinnetou.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/forgetwinnetoufilm/
Twitter https://twitter.com/forgetwinnetou/
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/forgetwinnetou/
IMDb http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6494700/?ref_=nv_sr_1

German Museum’s Lastest on Human Remains? WE Decide, Not You. We’re in Control. #Repatriation

These photos were taken by and copyright to Mark Worth, used with his permission.

This photo was taken by and copyright to Mark Worth, used with his previous permission.

A “case study” by Robin Leipold, curator of the Karl May Museum in Radebeul, Germany. Karl May is the German author who created the stereotypical “American Indian” character Winnetou, peopling his dozens of books and later films with fabricated, mythical, heavily distorted “Indians”, but “positive” characters, not the vicious or dumb savages churned out by the USA. That’s why some try to claim it’s not so bad, and No, it’s not the same, but the effects of stereotyping are.

Forum: R. Leipold: The “Recommendations for the Care of Human Remains” in Practice: Case Study of the Karl May Museum Radebeul
This town is Germany is the homebase for Karl May fans, and hosts an annual festival each May. A festival which some Natives are invited to and attend, and without fail and no sarcasm whatsoever, are treated close to royalty as many Germans were introduced to “native culture” through May’s work and natives who dress and are believed to be traditional and thus “authentic”, due to appearance based on stereotypes, most certainly are. One isn’t faulting them, most have been misinformed for decades. There are lots of sincere people in Germany about native concerns as they understand them, but behavior and practices of the dominant culture still remain: appropriation. We believe it’s a unique opportunity that can benefit both, but this particular situation is unacceptable.

This same musuem (and others in Germany, but especially this one because they say they’re celebrating native culture) has been holding and refusing to return Native American scalps for years. Dismissing or ignoring entreaties to return these relatives home for proper, respectful treatment and burial. I was contacted and alerted in 2013 and began researching and writing, and by 2014, when invited to the festival I declined to participate in a “Q&A” on Native spirituality, not just because I won’t take part in any such affair but because of their holding native captives. So, almost 3 years of talks, negotiated and bluster, this is the latest from the museum.

Full of Eurocentrized interpretations of Native American cultures and practices, dripping with colonialism and pure German rationalé: that since they don’t yet have written guidelines and established protocols using only their logic and reasoning, human remains cannot be returned. The level of white privilege and white supremacist behavior, the objectification of Native peoples is so deep, I could barely read the whole. So much for those who call themselves “Indian” experts, knowledgeable of native peoples and cultures, because obviously they have no respect or understanding of the Peoples, or even of cultural bridges.

And part of all this is reinforced when Natives and other allies are told, because we’ve been repeatedly told these exact phrases by staff and directors from KKM:

 

  • “Natives have visited many times and THEY never complained about the scalps.” (How could they, they were your guests!)
  • “Oh, natives were battling each other all the time and taking these trophies, what is the issue of us having them?” (If you can’t see it, it’s because you don’t want to. Multiple Native individuals, nations and organizations have informed you.)

Or by Natives: “They don’t know. We must educate them” On topics like these? They KNOW, they chose to ignore. When you’re not here year round, aren’t aware of the issues and know what they’re doing otherwise, your presence validates and further exacerbates the continuing colonialism, racism and silencing of minorities and ethnicities’ voices so they can continue their privileged play. These aren’t general interested villagers, you’re dealing with but those who consider themselves experts and wish to remain in control as decisionmakers. Unacceptable. There are people who you can reach and help educate, and that’s what our documentary Forget Winnetou-Going Beyond Native Stereotypes in Germany is about. We’ve been researching and working hard to bring it to the world, about the REAL story behind Germany’s fascination with Natives, and it’s fall-out. Help us reach our goal.

Crowdfunding campaign is Live now.
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My past articles and appearances on the topic of these human remains:

Karl May Museum Reneges on Agreement to Return #NativeAmerican Scalps

#Documentary News On “Forget Winnetou!”-Welcoming Johnnie on Board!

yvpnznsxWe’re pleased to have Johnnie Jae as an interviewee! Speaking on Native stereotypes and the effects on all concerned, sure, but mostly on what Natives are doing now. What’s going on? How do Natives respond to continued misrepresentation? Why is decolonization so important?

“Johnnie Jae is of the Otoe-Missouria and Choctaw tribes of Oklahoma, the founder of A Tribe Called Geek, managing partner of Native Max Magazine , and contributor to Native News Online. She is the manager and producer for the Success Native Style Radio Network. She is also a founding board member of Not Your Mascots and Live Indigenous OK.”
Description and her podcast interview from/on NextGen Natives.


Please visit our film links for Forget Winnetou! for more information on our upcoming film on Native stereotypes, cult characters and their connection to colonialism and racism. #DecolonizeNow!

#Spider #Dreams Return, A Spider Legion & Remembering Grandmother

A Spider by Red Haircrow

A Spider by Red Haircrow

Last night I dreamt of my back covered with spiders, like a mother spider with babies. This was great angst for me, despite spiders being sacred to my heritage who are Apache. Spiders are messengers and I’ve had dreams of them before most especially. Dreaming and visions have been part of the native half of family, noted and known, in the community where they lived, even if they were on some rolls but not on others. One of my grandmothers was noted for it, and for the knowledge she had been taught and carried. For me, I only know it as something I’ve inherited, but it had great responsibility with it as well.

I had deep wariness from spiders because in 2010 I nearly died from being bitten by a black widow spider. I had a heart attack, a stroke and lost my vision for a time. This was still so in the dream, this feeling. I couldn’t see the spiders myself, though someone in the dream told me of them in alarm, and that I walked carefully so as not to dislodge them because as sacred, we don’t kill them. I never do so despite wariness.

As I took another step in the dream, some spiders started walking down my neck and arms, but I had to keep walking. These are things I’ve known all along, in dreams and in reality. I must keep going despite feeling fear of striking a hard path alone right now and because of what I might face. As I walked the spiders then began to stream from my back in great masses, going out to keep weaving and holding together the fabric of the universe.

Right now, after months, I had to face a hard decision, but one I neglected to make months ago though I’d felt the sense and need for some time. Not bad, just a different weaving.

The photo is of a spider respected for its role in the great circle and weave of the world while resting on a gate in Bad Saarow, just as I walked down from the house of Spiders where I sometimes dwell. You can read about many of those times by searching on this my site.

One dream: https://redhaircrow.com/2012/04/16/the-lingering-effects-of-the-kiss-of-the-spider/

Strong dream: https://redhaircrow.com/2012/09/13/spider-dreams/

Walk With Strong Belief & Direction #MondayMotivation

be-strong-2

I’m glad to be able to wake up each morning, and look forward to talking to my mother, to seeing my son, to seeing what the day brings and continue to learn to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Whatever happens. I’ve been waking up with new energy and renewed purpose and a steady eagerness even if it’s the quiet kind most people don’t recognize, even when I’m in pain, and I’m always in pain physically. Arthritis from many previous injuries, heredity and having to work past your endurance point many times before. Whenever I feel the least sorry for myself I tell myself my ancestors endured far more, I can do no less. I shut up and get on with it.

I roll out of bed (mental and/or physical), come what may, because I woke up, even though I am learning to try to relax and self-care when I need to. But the thing is, my self-care is in the form of what other people call “work”. I don’t have down-time, because my work is happy even if it’s hard, even if sometimes it feels un- or not at all appreciated. That’s when I ask myself, “Why are you doing it? For yourself (recognition) or because it’s the right thing to do?” It is important for me, it is incumbent on me to help the People, because I believe that through helping the People it helps everyone, the whole world.

Recently I’ve been attacked headlong yet again, that doesn’t happen that often thankfully, though it has been pretty constant the last two years, and it was very personal and intended to be insulting and destructive. The thing is, I’m used to the same, to those trying to be be insulting and demeaning, reducing, that is the way of colonizer and the colonized. I’ve heard the same all my life since I could determine intent and meaning, which was pretty early, because we know we get it early, if not in word then in tone. We recognize it by instinct, by remembered pain. It didn’t make me mad this time though it is affective, I’ve learned and been fortunate to have good teachers. It all doesn’t keep me from my purpose, my meaning, and offerings.

be-strong

I am thankful for those who take the time to instruct and correct me when I need those things. To help me clarify my purpose, examine my motives, elucidate my next steps on this journey of life. I am thankful for the wisdom of so many people and that things happen in their time just as they are meant to. It is humbling to be able to see and experience it sometimes. We all make mistakes, do or say things without full knowledge or realization of the consequences. When you’re honest and humble you try to make atonement for them, not on your own conditions, but on what’s right.

We are all traumatized in some way. Some more than others. We’re all healing, though some try to hurt each other, striking out, trying to tear down and don’t face or recognize why they’re doing, why they’re really doing it. I pray for them. I try to help others in this. I help as I can while also keeping myself safe and trying to remain steady, while recognizing and unworking negative patterns of the past. Part of healing is forgiving yourself in the first place, and moving on from there. It’s not a lone effort though, by far far measure, and requires contact and connection to others. Again, thank you to all those who have such wisdom, and who are willing to share it, to encourage. Encouragement for everyone as we each face individual and societal challenges.