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Racist/stereotypical portrayals of Native Americans/First Nations

Old 10-10-07, 12:00 AM
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Racist/stereotypical portrayals of Native Americans/First Nations

I'm working on a seminar for a class that deals with stereotypical representations of Native Americans or First Nations (as we call them in Canada) in mass media.

In doing my research, I'm looking for help in finding some feature films that:
a) present natives in a racist/stereotypical way that corresponds to historical conceptions of natives (both "savage" and "noble" varieties)
b) present natives in a racist/stereotypical way that corresponds to contemporary conceptions of natives.
c) present natives more accurately and nuanced in either a historical or contemporary setting.

Also, any instances of "Indian English" in movies (e.g. not using pronouns or definite/indefinite articles) would be appreciated.

I realize that "a)" is most common, so while I welcome all responses, I'm especially interested in any movies that fit under "b)" and "c)".
Old 10-10-07, 12:17 AM
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Flags of Our Fathers and Dances with Wolves could fit under c).

Actually Flags could fit under b) as well.
Old 10-10-07, 12:28 AM
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Part of Maverick has a humorous take on the racist/stereotypical side, especially talking with Indian English.
Old 10-10-07, 02:28 AM
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I suppose "Shanghai Noon" would fit under C.
Old 10-10-07, 02:41 AM
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Not from a movie, but from the Underdog TV show:



The Go-Go Gophers featured a pair of buck-toothed gophers, Ruffled Feathers, who spoke in unintelligible phrases, and his interpreter Running Board.

They were the native inhabitants of Gopher Gulch, which was also home to a U.S. Cavalry Fort. The Fort was headed by Colonel Kit Coyote, a blustery Teddy Roosevelt-type. He was aided by Sergeant Okey Homa, a southerner who resembled John Wayne. The military-minded Colonel spent his time planning new ways to drive the gopher-Indians from their lands. The native gophers devised ingenious and successful ways to protect their territorial rights. Sandy Becker provided the voices of Ruffled Feather and Sergeant Okey Homa. George S. Irving was the voice of Running Board and Kenny Delmar spoke for Colonel Kit Coyote.


http://www.toontracker.com/totaltv/underdog.htm
Old 10-10-07, 10:10 AM
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Disagree that Dances with Wolves falls under c. In that film, all the Sioux are noble and good. All the Pawnee are eeeeeeeevil. The film is a joke.
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Old 10-10-07, 10:33 AM
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as being a Native American (half Mexican):

Disney's Peter Pan: A
Disney's Pocahontas: I think I'd give it a C
The New World: C
Last of the Mohicans (Michael Mann): C

Last edited by Giles; 10-10-07 at 10:37 AM.
Old 10-10-07, 10:33 AM
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Well, shorts that probably appeared before features:

Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt
Injun Trouble


Last edited by devilshalo; 10-10-07 at 10:49 AM.
Old 10-10-07, 11:30 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions so far, everybody. This is a big help for sure.
Old 10-10-07, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by nateman241
My local news?
I'm not sure what you're referring to.
For clarification, for b) I'm looking for films that portray Natives as lazy, alcoholic, opportunistic, despondent, etc. This is a common conception of First Nations among people where I live. I'm really not aware of any films that portray this, other than what's been suggested.
Old 10-10-07, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
Disagree that Dances with Wolves falls under c. In that film, all the Sioux are noble and good. All the Pawnee are eeeeeeeevil. The film is a joke.
I disagree with this. We only meet one tribe of Sioux and one raiding party of Pawnee. The movie doesn't make any broader statements about the entire culture of each group based only on these two groups. And it's not a lie that these tribes fought each other throughout their respective histories.
Old 10-10-07, 01:00 PM
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C:
Smoke Signals
Dance Me Outside
Pow-Wow Highway
Old 10-10-07, 01:04 PM
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B)Fargo

C) Billy Jack
Old 10-10-07, 01:49 PM
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Old 10-10-07, 03:03 PM
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Windtalkers
Old 10-11-07, 06:26 PM
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For category c check out "Last Of The Dogmen". It's about a tribe living undiscovered, unchanged today as they have for hundreds of years.

Sorta a category b movie, "War Party". Made for the teen market. Every year on the anniversary this town re-enacts a battle between native americans and calvary that took place where the town now stands. The town has a mixed race population and you can tell there are racial tensions. Every year the whites dress as cavalry and the native americans in traditional war garb and they stage a re-enactment. A 4th of July type thing. This one idiot white guy, who's been drinking, puts real bullets in his gun and accidently shoots one of the NAs for real. The modern NAs fight back for real and then have to go on the run(on horseback) from modern cops.
Old 10-06-22, 03:58 AM
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Re: Racist/stereotypical portrayals of Native Americans/First Nations

Originally Posted by Bobby Shalom View Post
B)Fargo

C) Billy Jack
Actually, I watched Billy Jack when it first appeared (about 1969 or 1970) and while the film deserves credit for ridiculing many stereotypes it also perpetuated some other stereotypes. I think it was a good example of a, b, and c.
Old 10-06-22, 05:12 AM
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Re: Racist/stereotypical portrayals of Native Americans/First Nations

c) Seminola
The casting of Anthony Quinn could be viewed as racist, but the movie itself depicts the Seminoles in a positive way.
Old 10-06-22, 05:52 AM
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Re: Racist/stereotypical portrayals of Native Americans/First Nations

Holt McCallany in Creepshow 2 (1987)

Maybe the performance was not racist but a Irish guy playing a Native American?

He kind of looks like Peter Steele from Type O' Negative



Old 10-06-22, 06:33 AM
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Re: Racist/stereotypical portrayals of Native Americans/First Nations

OP never reported how the seminar went and stopped posting in 2009.
Old 10-06-22, 12:30 PM
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Re: Racist/stereotypical portrayals of Native Americans/First Nations

Did jointsky revive this thread because they came to the forum as a new member searching for mentions of Billy Jack?
Old 10-06-22, 02:30 PM
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Re: Racist/stereotypical portrayals of Native Americans/First Nations

Originally Posted by Count Dooku View Post
Did jointsky revive this thread because they came to the forum as a new member searching for mentions of Billy Jack?
It's still a good bump.

Avatar is a solid "A". Those savages are oh so noble.
Old 10-06-22, 03:25 PM
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Re: Racist/stereotypical portrayals of Native Americans/First Nations

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
It's still a good bump.

Avatar is a solid "A". Those savages are oh so noble.
Just curious about how someone comes across an old thread with a very specific topic like this. And curious now why you think the Na'vi, who are not native to Earth, are Native Americans. I'm like Einstein or a monkey when it comes to curiosity.
Old 10-06-22, 03:38 PM
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Re: Racist/stereotypical portrayals of Native Americans/First Nations

Avatar is Pocahontas in space, so the stretch isn't that far.
Old 10-06-22, 03:53 PM
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Re: Racist/stereotypical portrayals of Native Americans/First Nations

Originally Posted by Count Dooku View Post
Just curious about how someone comes across an old thread with a very specific topic like this. And curious now why you think the Na'vi, who are not native to Earth, are Native Americans. I'm like Einstein or a monkey when it comes to curiosity.
First Nations or first peoples may refer to indigenous peoples, for ethnic groups who are the earliest known inhabitants of an area.

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