I was recently invited to write a counter-point essay for CBC, following my participant in the CBC.Docs documentary that premieres today on Canadian television. Last July in Berlin, I sat down with indigenous writer Drew Hayden Taylor on his search to understand why so many Germans choose to appropriate native cultures and/or dressing up and pretending to be “Indians”. The article was published on January 26th, ‘Native Hobbyism’ is Modern Day Colonialism. and specifically discusses how the effects of such practices, especially on Natives living in Germany, are overlooked by both non-natives and natives, which we explore in our own documentary, “Forget Winnetou”, premiering next month.
“Indigenous North Americans who live abroad often deal with rejection from relatives who only support or recognize those who choose to live in North America. They report negative experiences such as abandonment, disrespect of their heritage and lack of cultural support. This trauma leads to depression, anxiety and frustration because Indigenous living in Europe can’t simply be themselves.”
For those of you in Canada, you should be able to check out this documentary debuting on Jan. 28th on CBC Docs. It follows Drew Hayden Taylor’s “search” in Germany on the “why” of hobbyism. I was invited to write a counter-point essay that will be published next week at CBC, and have a small part in the film.
Our film, which is the “flip side”, on natives living Germany, the repercussions and realities of how appropriation and Native stereotypes heavily affects their life, etc. very different from occasional visitors or contract performers, debuts on Feb. 11th. Forget Winnetou- A Documentary Film at the Delphi Theater in Berlin.
Ojibwe playwriter, author & filmmaker Drew Hayden Taylor is visiting Germany again, filming for his upcoming documentary on the continuing Winnetou phenomenon, stereotyping…and playing of “Native” by Germans and other Europeans. I was interviewed for a segment in the eventual production, on why I’m in Germany and also making a film, but mine is more on why it’s time to Forget Winnetou, due to the German societal issues of racism, neo-colonialism and stereotyping directly contributing to strife and intercultural turmoil. Afterwards, we walked to a local café and had casual conversation and coffee with the crew.
Drew’s bio: Taylor is a prolific author and playwright with over 27 published books and numerous writing awards to his credit. He was born and raised on the Curve Lake First Nation in Ontario Canada and still lives there. Learn more about his current trip here.