10 Images From Closing Day of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance Protest in Washington

10 Images From Closing Day of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance Protest in Washington

Rob Capriccioso


It was an extravaganza of solidarity kicked off by Earth Day and winding up on Saturday April 26. Thousands of people under the Cowboy and Indian Alliance banner marched, camped and spoke to urge President Barack Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.

RELATED: Cowboys and Indians Ride on DC, Protesting Keystone XL for Earth Day

They came on horseback from the Dakotas, and from as far away as the Alberta oil sands in Canada, where Indigenous Peoples bear the brunt of the industrial practices that extract the viscous, tarry bitumen that saturates the region.

RELATED: Keystone XL and Protecting Mother Earth: A Fight All Native People Should Fight

Here are 10 iconic images from the last day—the march and closing ceremonies.

RELATED: 12 Images of Earth Day in DC—Reject and Protect Against Keystone XL

All photos and captions by ICTMN Washington Bureau Chief Rob Capriccioso.

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Waabooz Biboon's picture
Waabooz Biboon
Reality Check By Jennie Stockle, EONM May 1, 2014 Friend, On April 26, barely a month after Christina Fallin misappropriated a headdress, a sacred Native American cultural item, and posed in it for her band, Pink Pony, the band exploited the publicity by suggesting to fans they'd appear in Native regalia again. In response to a silent protest led by a Native musician, Fallin performed a mock war dance that showed off the back of her shawl, which had the word "sheep" written across the back as an insult to the protesters she was already expecting, while her boyfriend and another musician mocked astounded Native attendees from the stage. [1] Governor Mary Fallin, Christina Fallin's mother, said that she thought her daughter's actions were inappropriate. She said that she had great respect for Oklahoma tribal members, their traditions and culture, and that tribal governments were important partners to the government of Oklahoma. Is that why the governor and the legislature took aggressive action in 2011 to dissolve official communications with the 39 American Indian Tribal Nations within state borders, replacing the 43-year-old Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission with a single overworked liaison? [2] Was that respect? We've seen that by the time someone is performing redface in public, they've been taught so much disrespect that apologetic words aren't enough to fix what's wrong. This is why the volunteers of Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry and the RH Reality Check community are calling on Governor Fallin and the Oklahoma State Legislature to restore Oklahoma's Indian Affairs Commission, add a Secretary of Native American Affairs to the cabinet, and develop a Native history and cultural curriculum for government employees and public schools. Because we wonder what Christina Fallin learned about Native people from Oklahoma schools. Instead of having a Native American history and culture curriculum like many states with an even smaller Native population do, many Oklahoma schools do "Land Run" reenactments where Native Americans are misrepresented and mocked, and forced to reenact an ugly part of US history. When the Goodblanket family of the Cheyenne-Arapaho tribe called 911 for help preventing their son who had a disability from harming himself, and Custer County law enforcement officers shot him to death within moments of entering the home, we wonder what these men were taught about Native Americans by a state government that will barely speak to our leaders. What did these officers learn about Native families from seeing their governor act so aggressively to remove a Native child from her tribal family just last year, [4] as she did with Baby Veronica? The government of Oklahoma needs to answer this pervasive, constant racism towards Native Americans with meaningful actions that prove respect. Stand with us to demand that they live up to their words. Thank you, Jennie Stockle, EONM -- [1] - "Native Americans React to Christina Fallin's Fake War Dance Performance," by Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, April 27, 2014. [2] - "Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission Heading Toward Final Days," by Brian Daffron, June 13, 2011. [3] - "Autopsy reveals Cheyenne-Arapaho teen was shot 7 times by deputies," by Levi Rickert, NativeNewsOnline.net, March 22, 2014. [4] - "Fallin Signs Extradition Papers For 'Baby Veronica's' Biological Father," ****** NewsOn6.com, September 4, 2013. Native Americans React to Christina Fallin’s Fake War Dance Performance By EONM 4 Comments Norman, Oklahoma – Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, a group of Native parents and their allies from across the country were alerted to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin’s daughter, Christina Fallin’s latest gaff when her band Pink Pony announced via Facebook “I heard Pink Piny was wearing full regalia tonight.” Protestors led by Choctaw musician Samantha Crain staged a protest at the Norman Music Festival in Oklahoma and Native American’s reaction via social media was outraged as Fallin wore a Native American-style fringed shawl with the word “Sheep” on the back and performed a fake war dance while her boyfriend Steven Battles ridiculed the protesters and flipped them off from the stage. Earlier that day, Crain noted on her Facebook page, “Publicity stunt or not, even if they are lying, their attitudes, their insincerity, their irresponsibility, their general lack of caring about anything other than the advancement of themselves deserve a protest. So I will be at the Pink Pony show at NMF tonight. Midnight. black watch stage. Peacefully and quietly picketing with signs to tell them how I feel.” Some of the signs said, “culture is not a costume,” “with all your power, what will you do?,” “you still owe us an apology,” “don’t trend on me,” “I am not a costume,” and “please forgive us if we innocently oppose you”. The last sign was a take on Fallin’s non-apology after she posted a photo of her self misappropriating Native America regalia reserved for highly honored leaders for a glamour shot to promote her career. Faced with more Native American protests Fallin attempted to have Crain and supporters removed by security, but they were allowed to remain on private land adjacent to the stage. According to a tweet by Chahta Summer, a Choctaw mother and recent law school graduate Fallin’s shawl with “sheep” written on the back was a direct swipe at Native Americans. “Their supporters were calling us sheep the last time, saying we called her out to be PC, not thinking for ourselves.” Cherokee EONM member and blogger Jennie Stockley posted to Pink Pony’s Facebook page, “Apathy towards the clear feelings of other people is cruelty. Her apathy based to Native culture is racist. No opaqueness in this issue. It is clear. We will not stand silent while she degrades honored and sacred symbols.” The Fallin family has faced controversy with the Native American community both in Oklahoma and nationally last year when Governor Mary Fallin helped facilitate the forced adoption of a Cherokee girl, Veronica Brown from her Cherokee family who were found to be fit parents by the courts 1,000 miles away to a white South Carolina couple who had used shady adoption practices to dodge the Indian Child Welfare Act that seeks to protect Native American tribe from mass removal of their children, a violation of the Geneva Conventions on Genocide. Oklahoma has one of the largest Native American populations in the country and has 38 federally recognized tribes. EONM calls upon the Riverwind Casino, Blackwatch Studios and Christina Fallin and Governor Mary Fallin to apologize for this direct attack affront to Native American concerns regarding the misuse of our culture and purposeful insult to Native Americans in general. Blackface is not acceptable and if Fallin had engaged in it and then derided African Americans’ for demanding she stop performing in blackface the Governor would be apologizing on national television. It shows the degree to which racism and caricature of Native American culture is acceptable in the United States to a degree it is not for other ethnic groups. And coming from a member of a family that is supposed to represent 38 Native American communities within the state of Oklahoma this behavior is particularly unacceptable. Tags: christina fallin, cultural appropriation, eonm, native mascotry, norman music festival, oklahoma, pink pony, press release, redface disgrace, riverwind casino Tigerlily Press Release Native Americans Demand Nike “#Dechief” – Stop Selling Grotesque “Chief Wahoo” Products Related Articles 28Apr Native Americans Demand Nike “#Dechief” – Stop Selling Grotesque “Chief Wahoo” Products 30Apr Flaming Lips Lead Singer Wayne Coyne Insults Native Protesters at Concert Tigerlily Press Release
Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
All the news about the racism we face daily, the disrespect for the environment, our children and elders, our culture, our concerns and our hopes is almost too much to take. It's a small wonder that suicide is so high among Native youth. Will this country EVER learn?


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