In the evolving American consciousness, where there's growing support for illegal immigrants who want U.S. citizenship and for gays who want wedlock, the same impulse apparently does not recognize that the word redskins is reprehensible and offensive to (most) Native Americans.
If we can agree that I should not be called a "redskin" because that would be racist, then isn't it obvious that the Washington NFL team should not use the name? Eighty years' use of a racist term does not make a racist practice a legitimate tradition. It makes it 80 years overdue for a change.
Much of traditional Lakota culture was threatened in the early 1900s. After the Lakota people were placed on reservations in the late 1800s, the U.S. government forbade their language and ceremonial life.
Like the proverbial "ducks out of water," Native Christians captured by a Western worldview are against the use of any form of Native American cultural expressions of faith. On the other hand, those who reclaim a vision of Christ in our culture celebrate joy and homecoming.
The first I heard of Professor Dulaney was in 1983 when I received a letter -- it was not known as snail-mail back then -- saying that he had been reading my newspaper. We came up with the idea of forming a Native American newspaper association.
As we, the American public, hack through thickets of politically enhanced blogoshere-distributed demonstrations and debates about who we are, most of us overlook one factor: We started out as trespassers.
A half-man, half bird rattles the head of a raven high in his right hand. He brandishes a wing of feathers that he waves toward the crowd and up to the sky. The overall effect is mesmerizing and the crowd stands at attention.
We have to ask ourselves whether culture, race or DNA forever determines our spiritual path. Does someone's own cultural and spiritual heritage prevent them from understanding what other traditions truly mean?