Race & Representation

In this section Michael Albani argues that the debate about the name of the Washington, DC NFL franchise, “Redskins,” needs to be contextualized by the way Native Americans have created meaning for themselves about the similarities and differences between Native Americans and Euro-Americans. For Albani, Nancy Shoemaker’s A Strange Likeness can help us understand this context and hopefully alert us to the importance of including Native Americans in the debate about the team’s mascot. Jen Andrella explores the meaning of both Mount Rushmore National Memorial and the Crazy Horse Memorial as they relate to the Lakota ancestral homeland of the Black Hills. Andrella argues that these memorials are doubly problematic as both defacement of the Black Hills and as one-sided interpretations of history. Placing these memorials in the context of Lakota history helps us understand their shortcomings and suggests a possible way forward.