What Museums Get Wrong About Native Americans – Klepper Podcast

What Museums Get Wrong About Native Americans – Klepper Podcast


(rock guitar music) – We’re doin’ some illegal,
guerrilla, artistic activism. – Were you commissioned for this? – [Man] No. – [Second Man] They will
call the police on your ass. – Is that right? – [Man] Hell yeah. – Keep look out, man. – Yeah, I got look out. – Make sure nobody roll up. – [Jordan Klepper] It’s
the middle of the night in a sparsely populated back
alley in Detroit, Michigan and that sound you’re hearing in Sintex, a Detroit based Native
American graffiti artist, tagging the side of a
building with a huge mural of a young indigenous child. And, while I’m the last
person you’d want watching your back in case of some kind of roll up, prude or otherwise, I knew
Sintex was doing his small part to force us to see a cast
off nation of people. I wanted to change my
own personal narrative on indigenous people,
understand their deserved place in this stolen nation,
and become a white man who listens for a change. Also, who doesn’t like to sneak around and do graffiti at night? Today on the podcast we have Somah Haaland daughter of freshman
congresswoman Deb Haaland and Native American activist. But first, get ready to hear
from an invisible nation that is done being ignored. – The FBI just came out with a report that Native American
hate crimes have gone up almost like 60 to 70 percent. – [Jordan] This is Crystal Echo Hawk of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma. She co-led the first comprehensive study about America’s view of indigenous people. When I read it, I was shocked because it blamed media assholes like me. According to her, the
problem is invisibility. Not sure why I didn’t see it coming. Invisibility to some is a super power. – Invisibility is not a super power. It’s actually one of the
biggest threats we face. When they don’t see us they dehumanize us and we don’t exist. And so we often times don’t get included in important pieces of legislation. – [Jordan] And this lack of legislation leads to terrifying
real world consequences. Native Americans are
being killed by police at a rate higher than any
other group in the country. Native American women
have the highest rates of rape and assault. And Indian youth have the
highest rate of suicide. This is eye opening and I want to be an ally
in Crystal’s mission, especially considering white liberals often need more information
about how to move forward in a pro-native way. Yeesh. I’m here with field producer and JV football star Todd Bieber. – It’s funny. – For those who are listening
and not watching on YouTube, Todd is wearing a hip red and
white varsity squad jacket. – Yeah, it’s the first
time you got to pick on somebody wearing the varsity jacket because you’re actually
bigger than that person, so. – You think you’re safe, wearing essentially the outfit of a 17 year old on the body of a 40
year old but you’re not. – Let’s be clear, I’m
not the 40 year old here. – Okay. Todd is a field producer on the show. Was a field producer on The Opposition. We worked together on
the Solves Guns project. We’ve worked together for quite some time. To you, what is this story? – This publication came
out recently that said two thirds of Americans don’t think that Native Americans
are oppressed in any way which is completely false. Statistically there is some
horrible things happening within the Native American community in the United States and
nobody knows about it and they’re basically invisible. – Yeah, I think, like,
something that came up as we were following this story was some terrible things happening within the indigenous
community across America, some awful stats, but a community that wasn’t being reflected in the media. I feel like as we talked about that the articles we read and the study that we would eventually talk
to Crystal Echo Hawk about was sort of condemning media
people in power, entertainers, for not at all representing
Native Americans and when they do having outdated
images of Native Americans and outdated stories that are being told. So where are you pointing the finger? Is this, not me, right? – It’s everywhere. And when they do show up, they’re either these
stereotypes about the mystical, magical Indian or drunks or
over-sexualized native women. We’re really sort of relegated to these historical stereotypes. – [Jordan] She’s right. This representation is everywhere. Books, butter, butter
substitutes, televisions, cigarettes, Victoria’s
Secret models, movies, mascots, costumes, cornmeal, Coachella, misrepresentation is a
magical cloak of invisibility. It would be like using a
caricature of Martin Van Buren to depict all white people
and their experiences. – And it’s still very much
accepted within the United States to engage in this level of racism. The Washington football
team, that is a racial slur. Right, the R word is a racial slur. It’s the N word. When Megyn Kelly, when all that blew up around the black face, right. America was like quick,
but what nobody noticed if you watch that segment
those horrible Native American costumes were in the background. – Cannot dress as a Native American, that’s apparently been some rule. Isn’t the whole purpose of Halloween to dress up and pretend you’re something other than yourself? (applause) – People understand that
black face increasingly is wrong, people don’t
understand that that’s sort of, you know, objectification
and misrepresentation of native peoples is wrong as well. – We can double kick out Megyn Kelly. I think a lot of people would. – Right, seriously. – And the elephant in the
room, I’ll call it out, you and I are both white men. One of the struggles here was there was an indictment on the media but also the indictment of white folks, also liberal white folks, for
having outdated perspectives on Native Americans and that culture. And so I thought this was
an interesting challenge within us. How do you tell this story? I have a show called Klepper. I joke about it but like
that is a privilege. We’d like to tell this story but it’s again being told by somebody who looks like the people who
continue to tell that story. – I think doing fifteen or
twenty different pieces with you, this is the one where I felt like, oh my God, I know nothing about what I think I know about. Like, we came out of
a particular interview with Cannupa where we hung out with him. He’s an artist in Santa Fe, New Mexico. And I think he blew my
mind like five or six times where he said some things that I was like, that is changing the way I think about, not just about the
world, but about myself. – Now, I’m a white guy
talking about Native Americans being invisible in culture partially because guys
like me tell that story. Help me tell that story by not telling that,
what the fuck do I do? – Your foundation to create a conversation around native people and native visibility is a false foundation. Like, I’m from the Great
Plains and I’m enrolled in Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara. Down here I am like a witch, you know, there’s no such thing
as a Native American. We are– – What am I doing this episode on? – I mean, here’s the
question I’m asking you. If we’re gonna talk about the invisibility of native people we also
need to start talking about the complexity of native people. Like, I can’t talk for 562 nations. I can’t talk for people
in my own tribe, honestly. – Can’t fuckin’ win. – I think when we went to Cannupa who, by the way, behind the scenes, because someone else
dropped out the day before I was in the airport and
someone had found his website and we called him and
we’re like, we’re gonna go meet this guy who ended
up being a huge part of the episode because
he was so interesting. But what he said was, “You’re
going down the wrong path.” He told us that we’ve
been focusing on the past and your episode’s about modern
American Native Americans. We should be focusing on the future. And that was something
that, like, we didn’t even, like if you look at the pages of notes that we, we didn’t even
think about talking about what the future of Native American and indigenous people look like. – He made it very clear we
were doing the wrong episode. – Yes. – [Cannupa] All of the
scholarship on native people is dependent on us being dead and gone but they haven’t talked to
us within the last 200 years. You’re a white man in a
society that has incredible amounts of power for right now. Talk to native people and
get to know them one on one and weaponize that privilege. – To be fair, the story
almost didn’t happen. – Melissa and I, who is an AP on the show, had to fight pretty hard to say this is a story worth telling. And I remember it like, ’cause we come in with
like, literally we pitch you hundreds of stories, so it’s not uncommon that a story that is
worth telling isn’t told because you can only tell eight stories. – And to be fair, I read dozens of ’em. – Yes, it shows when we come
in the room and pitch them. We get really invested in like, there’s murdered and
missing indigenous women, there is teen suicide,
there is all these things that we become like, very saying like, these are the hilarious
issues that we should cover on a Comedy Central show. And you sometimes say,
“This sounds really sad. Where is the story here
that we should be covering?” And I think that, how did this get approved? – In approving stories,
we only get to do eight and it’s a big investment. There are a lot of
important stories out there. Big question that I have is, one, why are we telling the story? – Yeah. – And what can we do with this story? I don’t think I ever doubted
the importance of this story, but it’s like I am a
comedian on Comedy Central. And so a lot of it is, is again, why does this guy tell it? Is there a way that we
can find some comedic take in there that allows it
to be, that allows people to engage with us in a way
that a regular documentary on 60 Minutes wouldn’t be able to do that? Mixed also with, like,
a big part of this show is we want it to be experiential. I was unsure if I could
find the path in my head and I remember you and
Melissa coming in and pitching and I remember Melissa was
very emotional about it. It meant so much to her and I know it meant so much to you as well that, like, I trusted you guys. And, like, and I think
it was a different story than what we thought when
we were there in that room but we’re a small enough
office where I know you put that time and energy into
it, and at some point it’s like if it’s there,
we think it’s there, and we know it is this important and you can see it in everybody’s eyes like, this is the story
we gotta fuckin’ tell ’cause nobody else is
fucking telling the story yeah, then I was being a
dummy and I’ll admit that. And we’ll edit that out of
this part of the podcast, but. Unless it makes me look
sympathetic and thoughtful. In which case, we’ll probably keep it in. – Yeah. That joke lands so we’ll
probably keep it in. (laughter) – How do I be an ally not an appropriator? – You need to go meet people who’ve been, sort of, on the front lines. – We’re not the Lone Ranger and Tonto. – We don’t live in teepees. Here we never did. – And hey, we don’t wear headdresses. – We use computers, we have cell phones. – We exist in the 21st century. – [Crystal] It’s ripe for
arts and culture and music, fashion designer, a New
York Times best seller, there’s a new film that was
written by a Native American writer named Sterlin Harjo. Not only are we still here, we got some real cool shit going on. – What was exciting about this story is we got to meet a lot of people in the indigenous
community across America. We met artists, we met politicians, we met Deb Haaland, we met
Deb Haaland’s daughter, Somah Haaland who is
actually gonna be here a little bit later. We’re gonna talk with Somah. We met students, rappers, punk rockers. – Graffiti artists. – Graffiti artists. – We also met chefs. Do you remember, you had to eat venison. – I ate venison, yes. Lovely chefs who were
opening up a food truck in northern Wisconsin which is tough. I don’t know how you serve
food out of a food truck in northern Wisconsin. I guess you invite people into your truck. – Yeah, you don’t stand outside more than about three
seconds, at least we didn’t. – One of the most exciting
things about this story was getting to meet and
be there with Deb Haaland, who is one of the first
female Native American women elected to Congress. And we got to kind of
be there on the ground not only in New Mexico
with her, helping her pack to come to D.C. but then we also came back and we were there on the day, I think it was January
3rd, when all the new folks got sworn into Congress which was a pretty
powerful day to be there. – Yeah, we’d been to D.C. for
a lot of different projects and that was maybe the
most memorable trip to D.C. that I’ve ever been at. Because it’s like AOC got, and Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids. It was a really moving day. – [Jordan] You wanna make
an actual difference, why do that in Congress? – I kind of look at
things as an opportunity. Yeah, Congress is the most,
like their approval rating’s like 29% or– – I didn’t want to bring it up but acne has a better approval
rating than Congress. – Exactly. But I think we’re not talking
enough about Native American issues right now. The environment, climate
change, renewable energy, missing and murdered indigenous women is not anywhere near the, you know, level of discourse that it
should be in our society. – [Jordan] I’m curious, are you worried about over-representation? – [Deb] Over-representation? – [Jordan] Two whole people in Congress? (laughter) – No, not at all. – Also we started to weave in my own personal story which was when I was kid
I was in what I think was called The Indian Guides. Which was a bonding experience
I had with my father where you basically dress
up, you wear a little leather skin vest with a
bunch of patches on it, a little headdress, and
you go out into the woods, you learn how to make fires. You do karaoke and perform
in funny little variety shows with a bunch of other kids and their dads. Occasionally you beat drums. I didn’t think much about it and to be quite honest, I enjoyed it. It was a nice bonding
experience with my dad. I look back at that and it
does, it sits oddly with me. Just because it felt
like we weren’t engaging with the Native American community but we were dressing up. And I don’t think there was, you know, from my, I don’t think
there was malice in it. I think it was just, this
was kind of accepted. It was the norm. It’d be too easy just to say, oh this was some weird old racist group and people didn’t know about it. I think there was an attempt to bring Native American
culture into suburban Michigan. And to be honest, it was a
fun bonding thing with my dad. But I look back at what that was and I feel, I feel weird about it. – Yeah, you should. What is it about that program? Like why don’t you guys have that? – I think the reason we co-opted the idea of Indian Guides is
because our own traditions are slavery, institutional
racism, and cultural genocide which are not exactly
great weekend activities for a father and son. (laughter) We walked out the door knowing kind of this Indian Guide through line and we sort of assumed
we would talk to a bunch of different people,
have these experiences, and I think storytelling wise we thought we would probably end this
episode with me atoning through an Indian Guide
performance because– – You wanted to do the Superbowl Shuffle with your dad. I said, “Yeah, of course,
let’s do the Pawnee Shuffle and I knew in my heart that
I would never allow you to do the Superbowl Shuffle.” – To give context for it,
yearly what you would do as somebody in Indian Guides is you would go to a weekend retreat and
there was a variety show and the group I was in,
which was the Pawnee Tribe, we had two very successful
years where we won the variety show, one we
did the Superbowl Shuffle which was called the Pawnee Shuffle. So those are like my biggest memories. They truly are of performance
and the ’85 Bears. So comedically we thought
maybe there was a way to do a woke parody version
of the Superbowl Shuffle. – Do you hear yourself saying it out loud? – I don’t know, what is
comedy in 2019 anyway? I don’t know. – A woke version. Let’s say that again, a woke version of the Superbowl Shuffle from 1985 Bears as Native Americans with your dad in an episode where we are
not shining enough light on Native Americans. I think that like, part of
like what our journey was was saying that like, you
go into these episodes with an idea like, how
do you comedically end these things? And as we started interviewing people it became very evident
that that was the wrong way to end the story that should be told. – I remember in the car ride
back from Cannupa’s house we were in Santa Fe, we were
driving back to the airport and we were talking
about how we were gonna end this episode. And I think at that point
we were still far away from doing the Indian Guides
remake of the Superbowl Shuffle but I think we were unsure
what it was going to be. And I think it was you in the car, kind of like, I think, what if we, we keep struggling on
how to tell this story and how we end this story. It’s not our story. Let’s give it over to
somebody who’s already trying to articulate something
that we just simply can’t. And so we gave a good 90
seconds over to Cannupa to make a story. And again, one of the
things he often talked about out there was the stories
that aren’t being told are the stories of survival
and they’re modern images of Native Americans. They’re also, like, futuristic images of Native American culture which, I think, resonated with us. It was like, (beep)
talking about old school Native American images
of people in teepees fighting against the Indians. Like, we already know that’s
racist and out of touch. It’s setting up images
of what Native Americans look like today but more so in the future that people can live into. And that’s what art can do and I think Cannupa said
that much more eloquently than I do and in a much more fun way. So I think what we felt
good about in the end was giving over some of that power. And I think that’s true, I
think if there’s any success in an episode like this, I do think, like, I get to be somebody who is hopefully similar to a lot of what
our audience member are, like, learning and changing their opinion as they move through. So I might be inarticulately
moving through which again, is not a bug of
the system, it’s a virtue. That my ignorance is not only bliss but it’s articulate. Peabody worthy, I think
some people have said. – Yeah, having submitted
some of your work to Peabody they would disagree. But yeah– – That might be true. I thought they were mailing issues, no? – But we both have won Peabodys though. – We have, yes. – You for the Daily Show
and me for The Onion. – You for The Onion. That’s right you were an intern The Onion. – Yeah, I was and they,
like, I was literally the lowest rung at The Onion but they, I was on the list of people and so I got a Peabody, yeah. – I think your Onion Peabody can be seen in the work that you’ve done now. – Well, thank you. – I think we made it about us again. – Yeah, I think you’re right. – This is the danger. – This is the danger, yeah, yeah. – Cannupa made it very clear we were telling the wrong story. The thing that resonates with me is not only telling the
story of Native Americans looking forward but also the absurd idea that even the term Native
American is in and of itself ludicrous as if it is one unified group. Over 500 plus tribes across the country, for us to be like in
22 minutes we’ll dispel some of these myths. Like, that is ludicrous. I think it’s a story
worth attempting to tell but hopefully– – Somehow we did it. I don’t know how, but we did it. – We totally nailed it. (laughter) Well, but I hope you can start to dispel some of those images at
least start to dismantle it. – We are joined by Somah Haaland. Somah, how are you doin’? – I’m good, how are you? – Now, I just before this, I had asked you how you wanted me to introduce you. – Yeah. – We met because you’re
Deb Haaland’s daughter. I don’t want to call you
Deb Haaland’s daughter. – Everybody else does so– – I’m not gonna do that Somah. I know I sent you into
an existential quandary. – Yeah, absolutely. – Of how would you like
to be named or titled. – Yeah. – Did you come to a decision? Do you know who you are yet? – I still don’t. I think I take after my mother in the way that I’m kind of a
jack of all trades, you know. I am a theater artist
at home in Albuquerque. But I do a wee bit of activism
and writing here and there. I think the last couple years of my life were really spent helping
my mom or supporting my mom to get to where she is now, so. – We’ve seen you a handful
of times over the last five months. When we first got to see you was at your house in New Mexico. I will admit something,
when we were coming up to your house in New
Mexico we were walking and the cameras were following us in and opened up the latch,
but the latch was locked. And so I had to reach
around to unlock the latch at the side house and I slipped and fell on a cactus and literally,
I literally took a cactus up the ass outside of your house. And then walked in and I
was in pain the entire day for a like a classic Loony
Tunes comedic mistake. And this is how compelling the story is, that’s not even in the cut. This is Comedy Central and
I took a Loony Tunes fall on a cactus outside of your house and it’s not even in the cut. – Wow, yeah. – So if I looked at all
uncomfortable that day it’s because I was. – Okay, that explains a lot actually. (laughter) It’s happened to all of us. You’re a New Mexican now,
actually is what it means. ‘Cause that’s happened to me. – They’re comically sharp. I remember walking around asking people, “Do you know how sharp these cactus are? They’re really sharp,
they’re really sharp.” It was really cool to see the relationship you and your mom had. I know you were getting
prepped to see your mom move to D.C. What was that whole process like? – It was pretty weird, honestly. I think that the culmination
of everything that happened didn’t really hit me until the day of the swearing in. It just didn’t really hit me because, you know, my mom stayed the same. She didn’t develop an ego. Like our relationship didn’t change, if anything I think it got tighter and so it just didn’t really hit me until she was actually there. – What was that day
like, inauguration day? – It was insane. It was really cool, though. I kind of spent a lot of the day like documenting things
on my own Instagram and in a way I think that was my way of kind of like processing it for myself because– – What a Millennial. – I know, I really am. – Oh my God. (laughter) – But it was just, it was wild you know. I think it kind of hit me all at once. I got to go watch in the gallery while she was being sworn in and like it was cool seeing AOC, Ayanna Pressley, like all of those people and Nancy Pelosi and just being there for that like truly historic moment was, it was mind blowing. It was really cool. – I will say we got to spend a little bit of the morning with you guys. – Yeah, her office was really full. – It was packed, but there was such joy. And I think we mentioned this, but, there were so many people
who’d come from all over to celebrate what that day was and I’d never been in that building before which was where the offices
of many of the members of the house, there might
be a couple buildings, but that was packed. What was also nice about being there with you and your mother was also like, this is the good part of democracy where people are coming because
they’re feeling represented because it’s celebratory,
the energy was great. – I don’t know if you
got to see it, Somah, ’cause you were in with
your mom while we were there but we got to walk around
like Jordan’s saying and what we definitely
noticed was that, like, your mom’s office, Sharice Davids’ office those were filled with people
that they were representing and there was a line of
people that were like, we’re here to celebrate
because we’re indigenous people or Native Americans and
they’re representing us for the first time in Congress. The other groups were
typically white men in suits outside of white men in suits’ offices trying to get them to like
buy military contracts. – Well, and even like up
in the gallery I was like, ’cause I could see, I was
like in this corner seat and it was just crazy
like the democratic side it was like so colorful, there’s
like kids running around, women, like people wearing
all kinds of different things and then the other side was just like men, suits, red ties. This kid sitting next to me he was like, “Oh, that’s my dad.” And he like points and he was like, “He’s the guy with the red tie.” And I was like looking and he was like, “He’s next to the guy
with the white hair.” And I was like, yeah, I totally see him. (laughter) – I remember later that
night we were at a bar or we were eating dinner, perhaps doing both but the news was on in the background and it was all the big
highlights from the day and that image I think
was shot from the gallery looking down of your
mother and Sharice Davids hugging and those tears. That was such an emotional moment. I mean, even just people in the restaurant watching and pointing
and putting food down, like, it felt like
something was happening. – Yeah, and I feel like that, you know, is kind of a representation
of how a lot of native people feel. Like you guys said earlier,
the term Native American is interesting because there’s
so many different nations throughout the United States but I think that being
said there is also this sort of like, brotherhood,
sisterhood comradery felt in between all indigenous communities and I feel like that moment was
a really cool representation of that because, you know, my
mom and Sharice are friends, of course, but I feel like
they didn’t even have to really know each other
that well in order to have that moment of being like, we made it, we’re here together, and
like knowing that you have that thing in common with somebody where you’ve come from
a long line of, like, struggles throughout the generations and to be there together it
was just really cool to see. – Now what happened, I
heard there was a trip to Williamsburg a couple days after? – Yeah. – Colonial Williamsburg. – Colonial Williamsburg. – Oh, I thought it was
a trip for vinyl, no? It was Colonial Williamsburg. – Yeah, we took a train down to Virginia and I got to go to Colonial Williamsburg and the Jamestown Settlement Museum which was pretty interesting to see because, just the
representation of native people in museums kind of on
this side of the country is very different than what
I’ve experienced back home. – What is that representation
look like at Jamestown? – What I noticed just
going into the museum was there was literally the sign that said something like, about how
people were brought over from Africa and Africans and native people and Europeans all like worked
together to create America. And I was like, that’s not
really exactly what happened but okay. – But they have to sell tee
shirts at the end, you know. Reality is hard to sell tee shirts off of. – I think did you post a video of a white guy in war paint? – Yes, well, and here’s the thing, so I ended up writing
an article about this for Teen Vogue which I was really lucky to have the opportunity to. And someone, this woman
whose husband actually works at that museum reached out to me and we had a conversation. And she said that the guy
who was dressed like that, ’cause he was wearing like buckskin and red face paint and all this stuff, that he was actually part
native from the south from Louisiana or something. I knew he wasn’t part of the nation that, he wasn’t part
of the Powhatan people that are originally from Jamestown. But I explained to her that, you know, because of the context
of the entire museum kind of set up as you
walk through the museum and then go into this Indian village that they have outside, it just, that was not apparent to me at all and I just found it kind of bizarre that they set up this interactive exhibit where kids can like play
and do all these things but, like, completely disregarding what actually happened. Or, you know, like, they wanted to share some of the Powhatan traditions I suppose but as a native person I personally don’t want to share parts
of my culture with people unless they understand
the attempted genocide and all these other
things that took place, you know what I mean? – Feel like there’s a buy in. You can’t just sweep by– – Yeah, you can’t just,
and that goes into, like, any form of appropriation right? You can’t just take the parts of a culture that you want to use and
you want to celebrate. You have to understand
the entire history of it or at least try to. – I’m fascinated by the idea that, like, oh in the Southwest
museums and what have you already know how to handle
this in a much better way than the east does? – Well, and I think that
part of it too, like, if you go to the Indian
Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque it takes you through a timeline but it also shows you what
indigenous people are doing now. Like where are they now type of thing. Whereas I felt like at
the Jamestown museum they set up this whole
history of these people that used to be here but
they don’t talk about how any of these people still exist, you know. And I feel like that goes for a lot of indigenous
representation in media. Yeah, just a lot of people
talk about Native Americans like they only lived in the past. – I think that was
something that your article really touched on and then
Cannupa, who we talked about, also touched on. It was one of those things
that was really enlightening to me talking to both of you about this was that when we go to
a museum typically like Native American indigenous culture, they’re behind glass cases,
they’re dead and gone along with all these other artifacts from other groups that are
dead and gone in our society. Like Rome and like Egyptian culture and it’s like, but
Native American culture, the things that we’re
seeing behind glass cases are still used and
still in practice today. So it’s not like a dead and gone culture but it’s treated repeatedly
like it’s dead and gone and that has a huge impact
on contemporary legislation, racial bias, because we’re
treating them, a group of people that are a huge group of people in the United States,
like they don’t exist and we’re taught that since
like, I know I was taught that since like first grade. – Absolutely, I have a friend,
’cause I went to The Met the other day. There was a lot of stuff from New Mexico, from like Pueblos around where I live, and it was really cool for me to see. And The Met actually does a
really good job of, you know, acknowledging the land where we are and the people where
these things came from but I think, yeah, the museum
has all these old things that are art but I think a
lot of people don’t realize that they’re used, they have a purpose, and also we still use all
of those things today. They’re like, oh, this
is this like old dress or these old moccasins. It’s like, no, we still
use all that stuff. And I think that was another thing, like, when my mom was sworn in
we all came dressed in our traditional attire. And, to me, that’s normal
’cause I wear those things at home all the time. Like for ceremony, I’ve
worn traditional clothing to like both of my graduations but, like just walking
through the Capitol Building people literally just like looked at us and like stepped aside
and it was just apparent that a lot of people hadn’t
seen anything like that before. – Yeah, there was a lot of red ties. – Yeah, yeah exactly. – Can I ask a question? This is a dumb white guy question. – Here we go, that’s kind
of your sweet spot right? – It is, yes, that’s me. So this is something I found as we were going through the transcripts
that I didn’t realize until later. We’d interviewed probably
like 20 or 30 people for this, I noticed that certain people that we interviewed would say indigenous, certain people would say Native American, certain people would say Indian, and often times there was no crossover. They would only use exclusively, it wouldn’t be interchangeable. Like, for me, dumb white
guy doing the interviews, I hear indigenous, I hear Native American, I hear Indian, it all
registers as one thing. I get back and I see that
this one guy in Wisconsin only said Indian. – That’s really interesting. – Yeah, and then again, like I said, other people only used indigenous and Cannupa I think pointed
out to us, he’s like, this idea, you keep saying Native American is the wrong term. And do you have any
insight to why that may be? – I’ve been asked similar
questions to this before. What I’ve noticed is,
’cause I think I use them interchangeably, now that you say that, I think I use them pretty interchangeably but I think, I know
that specifically Indian is like only Indians can call
themselves Indians, I think. Like not officially but, if
like, white people calling someone an Indian is kind
of like uncomfortable in my experience. – I think even me asking this question is like I’ve been told is wrong. – No, I think it’s fine. This is a safe space. – This is a safe podcast. – Like I’ll say, and I think
that when I am speaking to other native people,
I will call myself Indian but I think, at least,
this could be totally wrong but this is in my experience
and kind of what I’ve seen over this social media kind
of indigenous renaissance that I’ve been witnessing,
is that indigenous seems to have come more recently and I feel like that’s
kind of an umbrella term. Like when I think indigenous I think that that includes like aboriginal
people in Australia. I think that that includes
you know, indigenous peoples of everywhere in South America, exactly. I think, to me, indigenous sounds like an umbrella term for people,
indigenous people everywhere not just kind of in the United States. Whereas Native American I
think is like all native people within America, you know. – I think for you, Todd, what I would say is like take that and when
you think about talking maybe the easiest thing for you to do is just not talk. – Nothing to say. – Yeah, I feel like
that’s the safest thing. And honestly whether
it’s around situations that you feel could be dicey or just social situations, I’ve found that like your best game
plan is to think about whether you should speak
and then choose not to. – I think you just have him on the podcast so you’re not here talking about yourself the whole time, right? – A little bit, yeah. He’s like a punching bag if you will. Well thank you for
coming on and joining us. – Yeah, thank you for having me. – When your mom gets the
un-redacted Mueller Report will you share it with me? – Absolutely. – That’s all I ask. (laughter) If you like listening to this podcast, you’re gonna like watching it even more so go check out Klepper. It’s on all your devices
including your television. Go check it out. Thank you for listening.

100 thoughts on “What Museums Get Wrong About Native Americans – Klepper Podcast

  1. If more Americans could experience what your new show has to offer, there may be more tolerance or indignation for how we as a country treat each other. Native Americans and deporting veterans; let's use this knowledge to treat each offer appropriately and with dignity.

  2. And the GOP in Minnesota is fighting the change of of the name of a lake from Calhoun (after John C. Calhoun, a lifelong defender of slavery and agitator for the Civil War) to Bde Mama Ska… the original name of a body of water that was an essential part of their lives and not just a place thousands of recreation seekers wander around…

    Not my best analysis. But

  3. I don't understand how black people can ask for reparations before native reservations are made whole because they actually have Federal treaties and they were killed immediately and we're not allowed to be slaves

  4. Shame the only way stories like these can be told in mainstream media are on Comedy Central.

    These are serious stories getting sidelined here.

  5. This is cathartic, there are lots of us out here, but we have no tribal or cultural connection because of family separations/ boarding schools. The knowledge of my Grandpas parents ends at a photo.

  6. During the trail of tears the native american people sent food to ireland while the irish were experiencing a famine (which was basically inflicted on the irish by the british). If only that was the type of america we had today…

  7. Why can't we just elect a Native American president?? White folks control the vote do something with it!!

  8. nice work… great direction – maybe a native american correspondent on your show, that would eventually get their own?

  9. If I'm white and he's black then he's yellow and you're red. And that will never change so racism is with us forever. If you want to get rid of it then stop doing it. We are all homo sapiens with skin colors that vary depending on where you look on our body and how long we've been out in the sun and mostly the amount of light in the room – in the dark we're all black. Get over it.

  10. this lady is lovely, beautiful and articulate….only there are no such things as indigenes. not even in australia. the. maoris stole the place from the maoirioris who came there from overseas.. look it up. personally i prefer the term first in the land. and this land should unquestionably belong to the first people and the folks we now call mexicans…who are really californians:)

  11. People need to stop using the term “Native American” for American Indians. It is inaccurate and misleading. That name is already taken by citizens born here.

    I like Canada’s idea of “First Nation” but “Native” has nothing whatsoever to do with history (especially considering that everyone arrived through migration or invasion at some point in their ancestry.)

    “Native” only describes where you, personally, were born. Here’s an example of why these politically correct made up terms are ridiculously misleading:

    A full-blooded Lakota I knew was born in Cairo Egypt because his college anthropology professor father was on sabbatical there, studying the Vally of the Kings. Technically, he could not call himself a “Native” American because he was born on the continent of Africa. He could call himself “African” American but he’s not black, so it would confuse people.

    If you are proud of your ancestry, which includes one of the Pre-columbian tribal groups or nations, why not say that you are an American of Iroquois, or Cherokee, Comanche, Apache, Lakota, etc. descent? There should be some pride in that, despite the genocide against other peoples and the overkill of every “Native” mammal species larger than cattle in less than 500 years. Right?

    There were no natives here at the time of the great European resettlement (1492 and later.) The Siberian invaders we call ”Indians” [geographically more accurate than calling them “native Americans”, BTW…] had already wiped out the earliest human inhabitants (Pueblo, Piltdown, Clovis, Kennewick, Windover Bog, Anasazi…) by 1492, who were not “Indian” in Ancestry, but European. None of these peoples had invented the wheel, metallurgy, or developed a written language. Sure the Aztecs had calendars that were huge Stone “wheels,” but nobody thought of connecting two of them with an axle to build a cart or a chariot or something. Stone Age hard core.

    At some point, the so-called “civilized tribes” of the Iroquois (and separately out West, the Lakota/Sioux) were well on their way to killing off all other tribes, as well as the American Bison. They did that by starting huge grass fires that today could be seen from space, stampeding thousands of animals off of cliffs or into ravines, so that the Indians could take the hides, bones, meat, and other things from a handful of them, leaving the rest to rot away.

    The Lakota were called “Sioux” (which is an Arikara word for “Little Snakes” or simply “The Enemy” on a colloquial level – You see, the Lakota had tried to commit genocide on all other Western Plains nations for about 300 years and almost succeeded, using re-domesticated feral Spanish horses, but the encroachment of white settlers pretty much put an end to that evil dream.)

    So let's stop this revisionist history crap about the “noble savages” sharing the land and living like peaceful hippies shall we? When Europeans RETURNED to the Americas in the 16th century they SAVED the hemisphere from destruction by stone age people’s who hadn't figured out the wheel or developed metallurgy yet.

  12. Hey you left out some things

    Natives used Europeans to kill their rivals in exchange for land hunting grounds etc

    Some tribes would smash rival tribes babies against rocks

    Other scalped enemies

    Many tribes we're genocides by other tribes

    Yeah natives are very wise

  13. its not just the middle of americas historical men, but the motivations and patriotism the land wanted, how can a fresh usa be world super power in the right times, have they not done enough already ? well they unlike me, they like guns n hunting.they are not just gonna give into liberals and automation. fighting just doesnt stop when it comes things that matter not for us but by the examples we are made into

  14. Great work guys. Happy to have learnt much more than I thought I had from all textbooks and conventional media. I do have a thought on the last piece of discussion in there, Europeans who went to in search for India, reached America and just started calling them Indians. Now isn't that kind of ironic? A discussion about the invisibility of the community and we as a society still stick to the false identity based on the imagination of "explorers" ?

  15. It's a shame that a wonderful coverage like this is only on comedy Central. Therefore, most people won't take it seriously. Not putting down the staff of klepper, it's way more of a problem for the rest of these media companies

  16. I AM SO HAPPY Y'ALL CHOSE SOMAH TO HELP LEAD THIS EPISODE! SUCH an incredible voice not only for native & young people but for the LGBTQ+ community too. I love you Somah, please run for office.

  17. Thank you for this program. I appreciate the representation of Native people you did here. I think of Native friends who have been personal and professional mentors of mine, of prominent artists, writers, actors, business owners, community leaders with great insight, who are inspired and inspiring, bringing wisdom, strength, skill, kindness, passion, great diversity of life experience, generosity and service and delightful sense of humor… all of them, I think of them with much gratitude and respect.

  18. Please visit my grandmas brother Leonard Peltier in Pennsylvania prison. He was wrongfully convicted for deaths of two agents.

  19. Native Americans are rocking some FIRE in the art world! Thanks Klepper for talking about NOW. Changes are a comin' old white men. It's time.

  20. deb haaland has already been voting against medicare for all.
    so that's not going to help anyone…..

  21. Calling someone "Indian" or "Indio" in Mexico, is derogatory, and if one is not native to the Northamerican (Canada, USA and Mexico and Central América) part of the American Continent, please don't use it, is offensive…

  22. About seven years ago I started hanging around people who said stuff like "indigenize" and "decolonize your mind." So I started to be open to it. Got in touch with my own familial heritage. Listened to the poetry, music, hip hop, and words of indigenous folk. Learned about the traditional dwellers of the land I live on. Became conscious of foods and medicines that are natively cultivated. Started learning the language of my ancestors and appreciating the languages of the tribes in my vicinity. Started referring to territories by indigenous names like calling this continent Anahuac (Nahuatl) or Abya Yala. My whole perspective of life and history has changed and been enriched for the better. The stakes are so high — do we value life and diversity? Will we be able to withstand a changing climate and the consolidated power of centralized military governments? What is our history? What are our values moving ahead? Indigenous people and the youth are at the forefront of our ancient future and being in alignment with that is the most hope-filled and promising feeling I can imagine. Checking out books like "Indigenous People's History of the United States" and just exposing oneself to native perspectives is so powerful. It can be hard to hear but it's part of becoming a mature human on a universal level. Show up to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls events. Organize your own events and don't even take the mic or the spotlight — get indigenous voices centered as much as possible. Listen to native music like A Tribe Called Red, Che Christ, Lizer Synapse, Indigenize (on soundcloud.) Indigenize your mind, reach down your roots, and get transformed by the calling of nature and the land you live on. Peace.

  23. I'm not American and halfway through this I realise I don't really know who Native American people are… like what proportion of the population is Native American, what are the multiple "nations"/tribes and how are they different, do all Native Americans look the same? Guess will have to read some Wikipedia 👀

  24. I learned that my great grandmother and grandfather came to Michigan and they were laplanders or Saami people. They were so ashamed of their poverty and roots that it was almost never spoken about. A few times in my childhood we we go into this small Finnish store and my grandmother would say, we are laplander people, I was a little girl so I knew nothing. I always wondered why my aunts and my grandmother and great grandmother had these very Asian looking eyes but they were blue. Now as a 37 year old mother I am finding out my heritage and ancestry. I wish that someone could help me more.

  25. Trying to make light on very disturbing and sensitive topics and especially without consulting the chief tribal members is not only very arrogant but stupid on your own safety.

  26. Stick to comedy and topics that need to be addressed these issues will be handled in federal court.

  27. Someone early in the video said "Redskin is the N-word." Sherman Alexie the award-winning Spokane-Coeur d'Alene American author writes stories with people from his tribe addressing each other as "skins." Like with the N-word, you can say it if you're one of the ethnic group and it's a whole different meaning than if an outsider says it. Or as Somah Haaland puts it toward the end, "We can say Indian, you can't."

    Edit: It was also said by someone that "Native American" is an inaccurate term. I'm not sure what I can say that's ok but here's one thing I'm going to keep doing: When somebody bad-mouths immigrants and says "I'm an American" I usually say "Really? What tribe?"

  28. I had the opportunity to hear a man from the Ute and Paiute tribes speak about the term "Native American," among other things. He explained that the word "American" didn't accurately portray his identity. There are several languages spoken by indigenous people on this continent; in none of those languages will you find the word "America." That is not their word for this land. Calling them "Native Americans" is seen as colonialist. Even though it seems more correct than calling them "Indians", it still identifies them in terms of Europeans, not in terms of their own cultures and histories.

  29. This format is impressive. The format of shooting a show and podcasting what you have learned from it in a way that feels far more intimate than what Comedy Central can produce within the show itself. I like this way better as it feels like progress.

  30. Somáh Haaland made a point by using the word "Nations" which was lost on Jordan Klepper.
    When Native Americans use the word "Tribe" often they are referring to part of a larger Native Nation, such as "the Confederated Tribes of".
    The big issue is that America has many Nations within it, who need their sovereignty respected, as Nations within a Nation.

  31. LOL, a'he'hee for trying at least. Honestly just acknowledging that this is such a difficult topic is a big step. The best thing is to provide a platform for Natives to represent ourselves, and for people to listen w open minds. We know our situation best. MMIW is probably the most urgent issue, but ICWA being challenged is scary AF, too. Loved Somaah ! Esp her Carhartt beanie. When people meet a Native it's best to ask them how they want to be addressed, n it's usually by the Nation they're from. And anything that came from racist Westerns is racist by default, BTW. Squaw, papoose, buck, firewater, etc. I've never heard Natives seriously call booze firewater. But some call it white man's poison, lol.

  32. It sets up people who care about these issues when we hear, "WE are not represented" or "WE are invisible" but then experience your annoyance with us for not seeing you all as individual nations. It feels like a no win situation so I think people just avoid it all for fear of offending someone for something. Like this girl says she was touched by the coming together of individuals from different nations (in some political forum) but on another day, it would be seen as us "lumping all of them together as if they are all the same." It's a no-win. And just no on appropriation. Americans are all mixed up. If we are proud of our native ancestry or our Irish, German, English, whatever, then we can show it! That's an American privilege. It isnt appropriation and it's not an insult. It's the opposite, whether we know every detail of the people or not. And getting mad that we presume "Indians wear moccasins" but then she gets annoyed bc we look at moccasins in a museum and think its in the past and no longer happens. I mean, there's no winning here.

  33. Okay i am a real Indian from India and I am frustrated and laughing on the stupidity of the women who say she think its not OK for whit emen to call them native Americans or aborigines but she can call herself as Indian. Really don't she knows that stupid white people called them Indians first because they thought that amerika was India and the people they saw were Indians. Its really amazing that you can bash others on their limited knowledge but can't realise your own deficit. Really amazing.

  34. These types of stories need to be told and I appreciate the comedians who are stepping into the moral void –

  35. Not to play devil's advocate… but @ about 29:35 going forward for about a minute… Egyptian culture still exists. They have ancient Egyptian culture and modern Egyptian culture, just as ancient native culture and modern native culture. Talking about the impact of racial bias, legislation, treating a group of people like they don't exist…. Kind of felt strange to hear the example of Egyptian and then hear about bias. I'm sure an Egyptians would not feel the same. They feel they are the same people as those before them, just as natives do. Just seemed kinda the pot calling the kettle black. Good story overall though. Just struck me as ironic moment.

  36. I'll tell you something the museums leave out. How the "Native Americans" helped and where armed by the Eroupeans to enslave the indigenous Black Americans and held them in slavery along side them. Ask your elders.

  37. 28:45–Perhaps this particular difference in presentation between the Albuquerque Indian Public Cultural Center and the Jamestown Museum (including discussions of present day events/situations vs. not focusing on that as much or even at all) is more a function of the former being a cultural center and the latter being a museum than a sign of a difference between two separate areas and the people making up those places? I mean, I would agree that the museum in Jamestown should include at least a section or two dedicated to current events in local native communities, but it seems rather obvious to me that a place that calls itself an Indian Public Cultural Center will include more contemporary examples than most museums probably would.

  38. I would say the name Native American as an easy explanation of my culture but to the informed I would use the term Anishanbe which is the language of our name. The colonial name most people would know is Chippewa or Ojibwa. But if you ever ask me if I’m Indian with a dot or feather than we will have a problem.

  39. I love how much bullshit this has, it's like "If white people call you Indian it's not OK, but if another Indian calls you Indian you're like OMG YOU'RE MY BRO" so basically that's copy paste shit from black people and their "my nigga" or "my nigger" if a white person calls you it's racist, if another black person calls you that then it's "my word" or "term of endearment" like cut the fucking crap already. You don't even have an identity anymore and you're here talking shit. It's only bad if white do it, if minorities do it then they have that RIGHT… Yeah, go take that right and shove it up your ass.

  40. Just throwing this out there– part of the misappropriation of Native American cultures and use of the Noble Savage archetype is that in order to be close to nature we need to be like Native Americans. Examples of this are endless in American culture, your childhood group did this, boy scouts famously have done this, that littering commercial from the 1970s (which actually depicted an Italian man dressed up like a Plains Indian) did this, the scouting group in Troup Beverly Hills did this, etc. I wasn't in The Indian Guides, but I'm guessing it wasn't really an attempt to "bring Native American culture into suburban Michigan", it was a group that used the false, popular culture idea of the Noble Savage to kids to teach some outdoor skills. It's a conflation and misappropration, it is, in no way, homage.

  41. Hidden facts: some US Native American tribes participated in slavery as owners and to be paid by US gov. they had to disavow all their black relatives for that money. They did it.

  42. Black, White, or Native, I find that girl's intonation? Where she turns every sentence? Into a series of questions? to be SERIOUSLY FUCKING ANNOYING

  43. Even though I have native ancestry, we got to listen and help, if we're capable, in order to help native visibility. This is their land.

  44. A 33 minute video about how “Native Americans” are invisible and more than half of it is Klepper talking. Well, I guess irony is a form of comedy.

  45. I really appreciate all the free content you provide. Especially the podcast. I don't have cable which includes comedy central. So I can't really watch your show there. I decided to support your show by purchasing them on google play instead. Thank you so much for doing this show. I loved the opposition. I love this show as well.

  46. 6:12 – “no such thing as a Native American. I’m from the great planes …. I’m considered a witch around here”

    Wow they haven’t even been recognized by the name they carry for themselves.

    Respect, I wish them all good luck and dignity.

  47. Kinda like Cinco de Mayo here in America. White folks put on mustaches and sombreros to get shitty drunk… not racist, a little un-PC but I do not blame society, I blame time. Look up Pancho Villa… maybe that's where the stache originates.

  48. Is there a white man in America more woke than Klepper?? I don’t think so. Thanks for being a true Ally

  49. I drive past the mural on the regular on my way to work and it is so beautiful! Good job being the look out!

  50. I enjoy this format and Jordan's take as it feels much less accusatory and more "ok, where do we go from here." I think a large part of the growing pushback on issues like this is people proactively saying "I personally did nothing wrong, why are you damning me for the sins of the father." I think this is a good way to bridge the gap and help the majority become inclusive alongside displaced minority groups

  51. WOW!! Could it be Black Lives Matters is a white colonial diversion from the real 20th century genocide of the invisible true natives of Americans.

  52. The woman at the beginning was criticizing whites supporting native american causes because they treat first nations citizens as caricatures. The progressive movement has a problem getting in its own way. Also Red Skin is not the same as N*gg*4, Calling someone a red skinned american or a black skinned america are both way less offensive. Washington Red Skins is a stupid name but it not on the same level as the most common racist term for black. There was even a poll among native americans regarding the football team and most of them didnt care.

  53. I didn't see the actual episode but I hope you mentioned the fact that our democracy was based on the Haudenosaunee Nation which is located in Upstate NY. But then we obviously distorted it. Also, the location of the Seneca Falls Convention was important because within the Haudenosaunee Nation women were equals to the men and even had the power to remove a chief. Seneca Falls is in the center of the Nation.

  54. When i speak to children I say Indian since thats what they are taught in school

    When I speak to adults I say Natives

    When I speak to my peers I just say Americans

  55. Since when is conquered stolen?
    Are white women sexualized?

    Can you dress as a Pilgrim for Halloween? How about a priest or nun or cop or cowboy or….?

  56. They had identities before they were "discovered" so I prefer to refer to them as tribes-people, the true natives of this land.

  57. Why are all native American stories told on channels that are jokes.???… Like comedy Central. Like I'm native American. But yet always get joked on about my heritage an life choices. Just not so funny when it's geared towards Black's.

  58. I hope this white guy gets his ass beat on the rez he visits for this shit. F**** white boy don't know shit.!.!.!.!.!.!!!!!!

  59. Right 15:49 looking for a comidic way to end it. Doesn't matter how they ended it just shows the thought process of how they went in to it. Like a joke. Hate these type of people trying to make light of what you're parent's an grandparents had to endure cuz of there ancestors. But yet still laugh the whole way through it all. Bet they would be more serious faced if it was geared towards black culture. F******JOKE. F THEM ALLL….WHITES WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND…

  60. There's plenty of ghost towns in the central plains they could migrate back to. My home town has a Pawnee Indian village, but there again it's all the past since the Pawnee are all in Oklahoma…

  61. the whole "we all worked together" narrative is just a (erroneous? problematic?) way of saying all those groups contributed- voluntarily or not, knowingly or not, freely or not, into what America is now, all the positive elements of modern America, factually speaking- and all these groups should be recognized, respected and admired for those contributions.

  62. 31:20 god this conversation is super fascinating. As a New Yorker who both studied anthropology and who spent her childhood in a rural part of Florida near a Seminole reservation, what she's saying really resonates with me. The way we teach american history here in the northeast is a bit wacky in general, as we focus on Dutch and English history in the northeast and midatlantic – the original colonies- while entirely leaving out the spanish history of the southeast despite the first european language ever spoken in the Americas or even the land that what become America was in fact, Spanish- NOT English- spoken by both Columbus, following conquistadors/explorers and the natives. ( we of course know the native american history is rarely accurately discussed or illustrated). As a child, I as many other white kids in the area, played with those Seminole dolls because we'd purchase them at the "indian market" we called them back then in the early 1980s. Well, one day as a college student I'm walking through the American Museum of Natural History and see an exhibit on the Native americans of the Southeast and low and behold, there she is the very type of doll I played with as a child lovingly, behind glass! We still have her packed away with our family/childhood heirlooms! What an odd experience that was to have, when even white children in the 1980s were playing with those dolls! Yet it isn't as if any plaque said "these dolls are extinct and no longer made by SEminoles." It is interesting the symbolic meaning of the "glass museum exhibit" and what it represents to the american mind..

  63. Couldn't help but think about Joe Arpaio. That shit stain of a human being was notorious for ignoring rape reports from both the Hispanic AND Native communities here in Arizona.

  64. Do more storie's, being Navaho & Hopi there is a lot tribe's out there that I am unaware of, yes, let them know were still here ✊🏾

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