Native Appropriations


Native Appropriations is a blog that critically discusses the ways that Indigenous people are depicted in mainstream, Euro-American dominated, culture.[1][2][3] Active since 2010, the website is created and maintained by Cherokee Nation scholar Adrienne Keene.

Native Appropriations
Type of site
Available inEnglish
Created byAdrienne Keene
LaunchedJanuary 11, 2010; 12 years ago (2010-01-11)


Some of the most frequently discussed topics on the blog are "hipster headdresses", the Native American mascot controversy and appropriation and misrepresentations of Native American cultures in Hollywood movies. Targets of critique include the Washington Redskins use of an ethnic slur as the name for their football team,[4] The Lone Ranger movie remake,[5] misrepresentations of Native American spiritual beliefs in the work of author J. K. Rowling,[6] the wearing of a hipster headdress and statements by musician Christina Fallin,[7] Halloween "Pocahottie" costumes,[8] and Urban Outfitters.[9] Though much of the blog's commentary is critical, it is not exclusively so: Nelly Furtado, for example, has been praised for her respectful engagement with Native hoop and shawl dancers.[10]

Coverage and influenceEdit

Keene observes that Native Americans are barely represented in mainstream media, and journalists often turn to non-Native sources, rather than to Natives themselves, on the rare occasions when they do cover Native issues.[11] However, the increasing popularity of her blog and appearance on other social media such as Twitter has made her a widely quoted expert[12] on matters to do with appropriations, with mentions in the BBC,[11] NPR,[1] The Guardian,[13] the Phoenix New Times,[14] Al Jazeera,[15] Time magazine[16] and other major news outlets. The Guardian has credited her with leading a successful campaign against stereotypical imagery created by Paul Frank Industries: the company later invited Keene and other experts to help design new product lines working with native artists.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Q&A: How Is The Native College Experience Different?". nprEd. Archived from the original on July 29, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  2. ^ "Powwow Party Flub Leads To Fashion Line". 12 August 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Spring's least-wanted fashion trend: The co-opting of Aboriginal dress". Elle Canada. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Bustle". Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  5. ^ "The Real Problem With a Lone Ranger Movie? It's the Racism, Stupid". Indian Country Today Media Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  6. ^ Keene, Dr. Adrienne, "Magic in North America Part 1: Ugh." at Native Appropriations, 8 March 2016. Accessed 9 April 2016. "What happens when Rowling pulls this in, is we as Native people are now opened up to a barrage of questions about these beliefs and traditions…but these are not things that need or should be discussed by outsiders. At all. I'm sorry if that seems 'unfair,' but that's how our cultures survive."
  7. ^ "Newspaper Rock". Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Spring's least-wanted fashion trend: The co-opting of Aboriginal dress". Elle Canada. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  9. ^ "Fashion designer Paul Frank teams up with Native American artists". 17 August 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  10. ^ "Nelly Furtado's "Big Hoops" Video: Native dancers represent!". Native Appropriations. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  11. ^ a b "BBC News - #BBCtrending: Native Americans reject 'super drunk' label". BBC News. 20 May 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  12. ^ "Powwow Party Flub Leads To Fashion Line". NPR. Archived from the original on April 28, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  13. ^ a b Tansy Hoskins (22 August 2013). "Fake Native American clothing ranges show the darker side of fashion". the Guardian. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  14. ^ Rebekah Zemansky (18 September 2012). "Bloggers Adrienne Keene and Dr. Jessica Metcalfe on Native Headdresses, Patterns, and "Aztec" Labels in Popular Fashion". Jackalope Ranch. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  15. ^ "Don't Trend on My Culture". Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  16. ^ "Johnny Depp as Tonto: Is 'The Lone Ranger' Racist? -". 3 July 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2015.

External linksEdit

  • Native Appropriations - Representations Matter - official website