“Don’t Look Away – A New #PREY & #PREDATOR – An Educational #FilmReview

Shared from redhaircrow.com.

Don’t look away at any moment. Prey is a beautifully shot and realized film strategically different than its predecessors, arguably far outshining them in depth of story and character. Other reviews will take you through the cinematography, direction or dissection of fight scenes, symbolism and the new Predator appearance, and inevitably to Eurocentric based criticisms.

While never forgetting the range of emotions experienced watching PREY as any viewer might, this spoiler free review will provide resourced knowledge and facts on certain intercultural, European and Native topics relating to the film and its production, for those wanting to expand their minds beyond the stereotypes and mis/disinformation still being taught about Native cultures, peoples and history. Note, references and resources follow the main review.

Traditions vs. Stereotypes

Set in 1719, in what was renamed North America by European colonizers despite Indigenous peoples having their own names for it, the story centers on a young Comanche woman named Naru who is played by Amber Midthunder. Naru wishes to be more than a gatherer and caregiver, she wishes to also be recognized as a hunter, which some viewers have surmised to suggest she was a “Two-spirit” person (1). Not necessarily. To my understanding, the characters in film never say this about Naru, but unlike European interpretation and stereotypes of Native life (and even their own pre-colonialization millenia), each member of the community needed a wide range of skills, for example, sewing, gathering and knowing healing items, finding and cooking food, to building and animal husbandry. Tasks were not gender-specific/only, a practice of labeling to support patriarchy, hierarchies and discrimination shared and enforced by Christians first in Europe, then in the Americas (2).

In PREY, Naru goes beyond the new troupish practice in film (or video games) of centering a (usually white) female character able to fight and defeat even the toughest opponent, singly or in groups. Naru is beyond the practice of simply replacing the typically white male lead with a woman, without changing the way the story is written, and how the characters and their experiences are portrayed or exaggeratedly representing “empowerment” through adoption of the self-same, most problematic characteristics of toxic masculinity. With her loyal dog companion at her side, in Naru we see a young woman who wasn’t required to be scantily-clad “Pocahantas” style, (who was a child during the events portrayed by Disney, who was subjected to child rape, kidnapping & an early death at barely 20yrs old), and who is vulnerable at times, yet also brilliantly shows resilience, ingenuity and intelligence rarely accorded women of color in film, especially Native American or Indigenous women. If included at all in films or TV series, Native American women are stereotypically and overwhelmingly portrayed as drug addicts, rape victims and/or are subjected to violence, often very graphically and in ways (also rarely done) to female actors of primarily European heritage (3).

In the film, some objectors to Naru’s official recognition as a hunter, as she was obviously proficient and known for her prowess, were due to fears for her safety (and maybe not from animals), but others showed active resentment, which may or may not have been influenced by the changing social dynamics influenced by contact with white men. By 1719, even this far west there would have been news or contact, some extensive, with European explorers, traders and trappers and the priests/historians often accompanying them. From the beginning, both Natives and Europeans recorded the refusal of most Europeans to respect, and in some cases, even acknowledge Native women’s important roles in their communities, voicing derision and shock at how they were leaders, commerce heads and spiritual guides. Such ones were relegated to a perpetual subservient role, in print and in practice, which some ill-disposed Native men (past and present) decided to accept against traditional Native values and worldviews (4).

Juxtaposing “Predators”

For the first time in watching Predator films, even since the first movie headed by Arnold Schwarzenegger (and perhaps still my favorite), it occurred to me the wastefulness of the Predator’s way, as was perhaps intended, as compared to a similar prideful colonizer way, the “take & waste” for sport and without anything resembling true respect. However, this particular Predator was different than we’ve seen in such films as 2004’s, “Alien vs. Predator” or read about in novels like “Predator: Hunter’s Planet” (1994), they have their own personalities and differences, too. Their own interpretation of the Predator code.

Very early in the film, viewers may not have been surprised to see a trap, but that is metal and secured by hammered metal links in what first appears unspoiled nature, its silent presence might introduce dread in anyone, but especially Indigenous hearts. It is an alien device in their world. Thus, anyone might rightly deduce we will see both two kinds of predators in PREY, and a juxtaposition of what type is worse, the big, fanged jawed warrior we’re used to in the series or the more insidious, genocidal type more often heroized in film and western society. Indeed, the European language speaking predators wants and goals are different than the extraterrestrial alien’s, and as history has shown, without restriction to age, threat-level or location.

This incarnation of the Predator series also portrays the reality, which other genres also show, i.e. that “not all European invaders/settlers were the same”, which really goes without saying, as an individual(s) of any group is not the same as all others in that group. This is clearly highlighted when one presumed Frenchman says as much. The problem then and now is, more Europeans (American or otherwise) mostly still follow and even elect some of the worst examples of humanity, mostly due to fear (even paranoia) of the unknown and their own self-interest: as long as they remain at least a little “above” marginalized and minoritized peoples and groups, they get to keep a certain privilege (at least in their own minds). Yet they lose their spirits and any connection to a healthy culture, which too often results in cultural appropriation (which we’ll talk about later) from the very peoples and cultures they collectively nearly destroyed. Although their demographic has the near total majority of structural power, they never stand up against their peers, the minority of bullies, too often siding with these against any who try to stand up against injustice, inequity and violence (5).

More on Fetishization, Cultural Appropriation & the Importance of Native Women

Living in Germany as I have the past years, and often working or commenting directly on Native American fetishization, reductionism, cultural appropriation and its roots in racism and Eurocentrism, such as in my 2018 documentary, “Forget Winnetou! Loving in the Wrong Way”, in contemplating to view (but especially) and review PREY, I felt both eagerness and reluctance. Even more Europeans who willfully defend racist practices and behaviors will use the opportunity to add justification to their Indianthusiasm, “playing Indian” and dressing up. Others will consume it to recreate facets of it, perfect their playacting, or as fodder for Halloween costumes come October. You’ll have those critiquing it to boost their status of “Indian expert” (no such things), saying, “this and that is accurate, but so-and-so isn’t!”, while a certain type of film director will think of past productions or plan for future projects about “Indians”, failing to understand the critical need of humility, planning with, having equal decision-making power and the support of Native nations or organizations/associations, not just a few Indians being paid to do what they’re told.

In all of that, mostly Native women are left out of any equation, past and present. They are erased, silenced, demeaned, reduced, absent from the importance they play in history and today. In the volumes Europeans have written, the film productions, in pop culture they’re shown as “Indian maidens” or “Pocahotties”. Native women and girls are fetishized, hypersexualized, infantilized and further subjected to abuse, assault and murder epidemically, especially if they dare speak up, show strength or seek to regain their rightful places of leadership, authority and wisdom to BALANCE perspectives, lifestyles and authorities with others, the men and Two-Spirit. In western society, Native women have especially been treated the way men have treated the Earth, most notably and accurately described in this quote.

“They treat Mother Earth like they treat women… They think they can own us, buy us, sell us, trade us, rent us, poison us, rape us, destroy us, use us as entertainment and kill us. I’m happy to see that we are talking about the level of violence that is occurring against Mother Earth because it equates to us [women]. What happens to her happens to us… We are the creators of life. We carry that water that creates life just as Mother Earth carries the water that maintains our life.”
–Lisa Brunner, White Earth Ojibwe


Naru’s story isn’t just a PREY or PREDATOR story, as utterly enthralling, exciting and heartbreaking as many such as myself found it. Watching Naru use her strengths, observational skills and wisdom about her body and environment different than a man might have or could have, to battle a foe of much greater strength was thrilling. It helped renew my fighting, resistant spirit in my here and now, in my life where overwhelming odds and threats are so constant, it is easy to feel hopeless or without worth or possibility. That is exactly what a certain demographic wants marginalized, minoritized or anyone different to feel, whether that’s being neurodivergent, non-heteronormative, of different socio-economic status, heredity or ethnicity or whatever else. They want them to disappear.

Naru’s story is also one of empowerment in a very specific way that should be seen as a message particularly to men, very much including Native ones. That is, Native women and Two-Spirit persons need and deserve support to regain their places in Native societies, and are of benefit in any society or situation. Without their power and influence in Native communities, it may be recognized communities have been slower to heal, less resilient and reliant on Native languages, cultures and traditions which are Medicine, and less able to fight violence, desecration & erasure of Indigenous values and ways, which benefit all. I certainly won’t fail to mention this includes original European groups and Indigenous peoples, and their women and sacred beings also, who were first in the line of fire from Europeans who adopted and violently interpreted Christianity to further their aims of power (6).

PREY is a triumphant film for so many reasons. It was beautiful in so many ways. It’s a great example of how people from the dominant structural power can work together with people from marginalized and minoritized groups in ways THE LATTER feel help correct centuries of misrepresentation and misinformation instead of reinforcing white supremacist, sexist, Eurocentric narratives and behavior.

I highly recommend PREY for anyone of appropriate age, acknowledging there is graphic violence and scenes of death of both human and animals, although not as explicit as seen in previous Predator series.

Disclaimer: This review includes commentary and opinions informed by research, correspondence and extended contact, both personal and professional, with Native academicians, experts, relatives and elders. As clearly seen above and below, references and citations are provided to many, and more may be added in the future. It is not designed nor intended to demean, represent, or speak for any specific Native nation, group or demographic.

Notes and References

(1) “Two-Spirit” is a term collectively created by Native peoples in the 1990s, for those of Native heritage who had more than one spirit, including one that may differ from what their physical form suggested. It can be related to sexuality and gender, and some today who do not truly understand the history or knowledge of it simply equate it to being gay, lesbian, transgender, genderqueer and so forth, but it encompasses all and is specifically none of those things, because being Two-Spirit is an actual role in Native communities, with certain tasks and responsibilities. This is a critical factor why it is a term that should be applied only to Natives, and even more key: only to Natives who are working in such roles in their communities. There are Native LGBTIIQ persons and there are Native Two-Spirit persons. There’s a difference. A Native LBGBTIIQ can become a Two-Spirit, but just being LGBTIIQ doesn’t automatically make them one. Please note, any references or resources should be those clearly, explicitly supported by and stating Indigenous cooperation and solidarity, or by Indigenous sources such as Sadie Heart of the Hawk Ali who is both a matriarch, grandparent and Two-Spirit elder, tribal lead at Zero Suicide and long time mental healthcare practitioner shared. Find one of their presentations here.

(2) The practice of labeling (and disdaining/shunning) gender specific/only was later introduced and enforced by Christians first in Europe, then in the Americas, in which someone who appeared to only be male was expected to do only certain work, certain tasks, and be romantically or sexually attracted solely to the “opposite gender”, and similarly women were supposed to restrict themselves to certain work (goals, ideals, etc.) deemed acceptable for them as the “fairer” but “weaker sex”. For each, this included both spoken and unspoken restrictions about dress, comportment, styles of walking, laughter, speech, etc. unless one be deemed “unnatural”, and hence deserving of punishments and even death. An important note in connection to object (1), Christendom’s priests viciously opposed and prompted the deadly targeting of any and all Two-Spirit persons they observed in Native communities, beginning the even more intensive oppression and abuse of such persons which continues today, and which some Native communities accepted, particularly those who accepted the worst interpretation of the Christian religion foreign also to Europeans.

(3) Native American women and girls have faced an epidemic of violence, sexual assault and rape since Europeans invaded Turtle Island. Portraying them or pretending to be hypersexualized “Indian maidens” is sharing in the indignities, disrespect and continued misrepresentation Native women. Few statistics, “More than 4 in 5 American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women (84.3 percent) have experienced violence in their lifetime. More than half of AI/AN women (56.1 percent) have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime. More than half of AI/AN women (55.5 percent) have experienced physical violence by intimate partners in their lifetime. Native women also face murder rates more than 10 times the national average. The vast majority (96%) of AI/AN female victims of sexual violence experience violence at the hands of a non-Native perpetrator.

Download and share the terrific resource guide on becoming an ally in correcting misinformation and working in cooperation with Natives at ILLUMINATIVE. A few further sources among many, “Putting a Price on Dignity” at Lakota Peoples Law Project. “Killing the Indian Maiden: Images of Native American Women in Film” at Jstor. “Ending Violence Against Native Women” at Indian Law Resource Center.

(4) Many Indigenous societies were matriarchal and/or egalitarian, with men, women and Two-Spirit individuals handling matters in their recognized purviews, physical, spiritual, social. Europeans (almost always men) often refused dealing with women and especially Two-Spirit persons, and in recording Native stories, cultures and traditions they observed: from the very beginning the overwhelming majority of their accounts recorded only a third of actual Native life and living, and that with European interpretations and beliefs superimposed upon them. The Native American chieftain system believed traditional and de rigeur by most of the world is mispresentative of most Native tribes, which had a triumvirate of sorts, that of the men’s, women’s and Two-Spirit councils. The male-only chieftainship is one that came to be more utilized, at least in front of outsiders, through adopting foreign, European patriarchal ways, lowering status/power, and erasing and excluding women and Two-Spirits, to the detriment of all. This practice and information is found in many sources, but one that collected many first hand accounts regarding is in “Spirits of Blood, Spirits of Breath: The Twinned Cosmos of Indigenous America” by Barbara Alice Mann, which I reviewed for NAISA in 2018. This book also goes into the metaphysical, ancient beings of Native North America different than Indigenous peoples, symbolism, Thunderbirds and sacred creatures.

(5) Early resources, (the best sources of recording accurately what Europeans did, as many are self-written accounts, not the revisions of the 1800s forward), from the earliest days of European incursions to “North America” but especially when more opted to go to the “colonies” to escape the abuses and injustices of the “lower” classes and minorities of the Old Countries, some wished to live in peace with Native Americans and had formed working alliances of commerce and trade (1600-1700s). And I am not talking about Cherokees etc. of later American history (1750-ish forward) or the largely British colonists. However, the British crown and its servants objected to this, abolished such alliances, and even jailed and executed those who tried to defend such choices. The Shocking Savagery of America’s Early History at Smithsonian Magazine.

That being said, in particular, Europe’s various monarchies and peerages using Christianity as a crutch and sword, creating a perfect storm of savagery and depravity wherein non-privileged groups were unleashed on the world, with the worst of its criminals being allowed freedom to do whatever they wished as long as the Church and State reaped most of the reward. Through the wealthy’s excesses, countless wars, revisions of the Bible and Church doctrines, intolerances, oppressions and bigotry, they created generations willing to do anything to anyone to gain some power, wealth or land, and they stamped their seal of approval on it all with the 15th century’s Doctrine of Discovery (still not rescinded”), the Papal Bulls and Manifest Destiny to absolve themselves or their agents of any crime of genocide, theft etc. (Luk, 2022Eneas, 2022The UN’s Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples).

(6) For more information about original European peoples, decolonizing and reconnecting to their Indigenous lifeways, beliefs and meanings, a good resource is “Awakening the Horse Peoples” resource site. This “decolonization is a powerful process that allows reconnection with the places we come from, and the ways of life that shaped our ancestor’s experience and continue to live hidden within ourselves; reawakening identities of who we are in a line of people from ancient ancestors to future generations; restoration of sacred ways of life, transforming from allies to true relatives in anti-racist action, solidarity work, and resistance struggles of Indigenous people and other people of color; and making healing of historic traumas possible for ourselves, and for Indigenous people who suffer from colonization and genocide.”

My Current & Continuing Projects & Endeavors

Current/Continuing Projects & Endeavors

  • “Almost” (website) a short documentary on overcoming stigma and prejudice.  In production.
  • On-going research project on Autistic Spectrum Disorder, intercultural competence and the effects of stigma and prejudice against different cognitive realities and abilities. See related research here.
  • Stop Misuse of Native American Spirituality and Ceremonies  an educational campaign to help inform accurate history, policies and cultures to help reduce appropriation and misuse. In cooperation with NAAoG.
  • Cultural Competency/Decolonization, Human Remains and Objects Repatriation. Humboldt Forum, Karl May Museum and other European museums.
  • Support of Chiricahua Apache N’de Nation Independent Sovereignty and Self-Sustainability.
  • An RPG. A role-playing video game/visual novel in development. On origins, our earth, the ancient present and an alternative future.
  • Varied Spirits a forthcoming collection of poetry, art & photography from transgender persons “gathering the dignity, the sacrifice, and the beauty of our lives, loves and living. Of our spirits.”

Find our projects of interest, and think you might like to help? Write us.


The Romanticization of #Indigenous Death, #Eurocentrism & The Wrong Kind of Circle at #ForgetWinnetou

Shared from original post at redhaircrow.com, yet another reason why Indigenous Knowledge and History is World History. It’s all the things that have been deliberately omitted or heavily loaded with Eurocentrism, strategically written with heroize acts of aggression, invasion and colonization.

“Throughout history, a country’s economic and military strength has influenced its times of cultural splendor and the rise of famous intellectuals and artists. Spain has been an exception to this. At the turn of the 20th century, a surprising series of events that no one could have predicted occurred. At the time, Spain had recently lost the last of its overseas colonies.”

From (link) “On The Modern School of Francisco Ferrer i Guàrdia (1859–1909), an International and Current Figure” by Carme Garcia-Yeste, Gisela Redondo-Sama, Maria Padrós & Patricia Melgar (2016). The careful wording on the topic immediately caught my eye, because it was the usual Eurocentric erasure of genocide of indigenous peoples.

“The loss of the last of its overseas colonies”…. crooned the text, but the Spanish invaded, raped, pillaged, murdered then occupied areas around the world. Many were pedophiles and torturers who committed unbelievably horrific acts of brutality to subdue and control the enslaved and exploited peoples, and yet like Christopher Columbus, were whitewashed and hailed as brave explorers and intrepid travelers.

After enormous loss, the Indigenous peoples such as in the Philippines, finally overthrew the Spanish invaders with the help of the USA, who immediately betrayed them. They are still, over a hundred years later, working to decolonize their minds, bodies and lands, and regain their rightful situation of self-determination from the Euro-serving figureheads in power. They’re are still tallying the totals of what was stolen from them. It is without measure, but with the resilience that is inherent, many are in the process of resurgence and revitalization.

In the case of this research paper, this reality is glossed over to highlight the struggle of another group from within the Spanish population. While the research paper lovingly details the struggles of common Spanish citizens against the privileged class, they utterly ignored how Spain has benefited from the genocide of others, especially people of color. It is with great irony, looking around at all the rich cathedrals and bank coffers full of billions plundered from colonies, that many people of color describe Spain as the most racist European country. Except for a few white Americans, since I’ve been in Germany, I’ve actually never been openly called a racist term or slur, except by Spaniards.

Of course, a single research paper cannot encompass all materials and perspectives, but in the writing that is included, there shouldn’t be this continual erasure and minimization of European colonial brutality. It continues historical amnesia and reinforces the many fabrications, twisting of facts or hiding of truth that is taught in European schools about colonialism. Naturally, this produced generations who doubt actual truth, because they have been so thoroughly deceived by their own systems. Some wish you to educate them, although that should be their own responsibility. They need to do that work themselves first, without expectation that POC should drop info on their command or expectation.

Also, this all lends itself to pity wars, the “my struggle is harder than yours!” cries so often espoused by white European feminists, gays or a younger generation that has carefully been coddled by “PC” or politically correct labels that omitted any of the harsher, bigoted realities of the world. Realities that, past and present, People of Color, including little children, have to deal with everyday. That Indigenous peoples have to live with, the scars on their minds, bodies and lands, including those of Europe.

The sympathetic hero-izing of the European, singular or collective in literature, in film, in museums, in every facet of western society, and the total omission of the brutality, the enslavement or even obliteration of the Indigenous, the “Other”.

That these primarily white Europeans perpetuate the created patriarchal, ableist model in their appropriation, minimization and/or passive/aggressive resentment of people of color and their cultures, sometimes accompanied by antagonism and derision? It’s frustrating. It’s exhausting. It’s maddening to deal with, especially when they’re still trying to achieve a pinnacle for acceptance, validation, and yes, vindictive vindication over all others, using methods they claim to be rejecting. Or when they want you to support/join/help them when they don’t respect/understand/care about you, and may actually minimize the struggles of POC who share their same issues. Whether it is women’s issues, a disability or whatever, POC deal with those IN ADDITION to discrimination simply on the color of their skin. Western society’s perpetual centering of self is very different from the encompassing circle so often seen in Indigenous cultures anywhere in the world, including those in Europe.

Although I mention appropriation, it is no surprise that some Europeans wish to escape from the families, peer groups, societies and pseudo-cultures where self-gratification and -centeredness is the norm. They seek to find belonging in the beliefs, ceremonies and traditions of other cultures, but too often because of learning colonial behaviors and practices, (link) they “love” in a wrong way.  They did not learn empathy. They were not taught. Being empathetic does not serve them in western society, their societies. They were unfortunately imbued with privilege and entitlement to take and use whatever and whomever they want. They didn’t learn that such practices and mindsets also harm them and the environment.

It’s no wonder so many are prone to self-medication and vice, simply because they are hungry and thirsty for true connection and acceptance from others. They are searching for meaning, and want to be believe in something, yet learning to and experiencing trust is all too often non-existent as well. And then on top of it all, to be told, “That’s just the way the world is! Some will always be rich, and others will be poor. Some will always get hurt, be upset, or deprived by your doing whatever is necessary to succeed…but you deserve it!”  How cruel and unnatural. This is trauma informed, fear based paranoia. The rationalization of unhealed, untreated pain.

This kind of attitude and teaching makes people cruel to others. We see this casual cruelty daily, everywhere you look, but some of us also see the empty eyes and spirits. I see this very much in Germany, but am also thankful to see those trying to live in a good way, to right the many historical wrongs, and who do so with all their hearts. This is also another example how only using European and Eurocentric material continues to spread the centering of any European knowledge and history above all others, creating and reinforcing layer upon layer of resentment, delusion and un/imbalance in the world. It makes cultural appropriation, exploitation and capitalistic endeavors the “lesser” of evils, when they are all part of the cycle of genocide.

Not sure of the others, but the “Cycle of Genocide” image was created by Ižaŋžaŋwiŋ. Learn more by purchasing your copy of “Forget Winnetou! Loving in the Wrong Way.”

Why #Indigenous Knowledge is World Knowledge & Necessary: Western Values, Indigenous Reality & Reciprocity

Image originally found at https://www.literacyworks.org/ relating to Native American education.

Post shared from: www.redhaircrow.com. Interested in learning why Indigenous Knowledge is World Knowledge? www.flyingwithredhaircrow.com.

Think about it. Stop, open your mind and think about it. Think about several things. How is colonialism and racism still being perpetuated today in the things you may do, and how, yes, it is extremely problematic and needs to stop. Let’s consider the topic of Cultural appropriation as an example. It’s the number one topic I get asked about or have people disgorge information to me about themselves.

First up, “mansplaining”, “whitesplaining”, these socially recognized propensities that are irritating and widely noted. I’m very sure some of those who do it aren’t purposely trying to be annoying and condescending, but it’s yet another product of western societies warped value systems. How so, you ask? You’re always asked and expected to prove your worth in the nuevo European system of value. That’s one way to do so. From my understanding and experience of Indigenous systems and perspectives, being born makes you unique and inherently of worth, of being listened to. But you don’t abuse that reality or disrespect others by doing it too much, so that you are seen to lack humility, a key facet of many Indigenous cultures.

“Knowledge is power” is one of the most remarked sayings in western society, but that too warped and a product of a deliberately diseased yet defended value system. It was created to be simplistic “yet profound” so that it can be manipulated to justify wrongdoing or cruelty. Simply having information proves nothing about power or wisdom, and especially not of worth. Nuevo systems have stolen, researched and known for centuries that Indigenous knowledge, systems and practices are beneficial, even superior to the mish-mash of immature behaviors and ways of being that western society has adopted as “normal”. “Knowledge is power” only in their way of treating others, which often means withholding information to use for profit and control of others, of money, of markets, of industries, of life itself. This Corona pandemic is prime example of it.

And when I say western society and “nuevo” European, I mean the systems, practices and behaviors it chose to adopt and enforce due to the horrors perpetuated during colonialization. Again, how so? Why so? Justification had to be made for why genocide, slavery, rape, torture, and pillaging was “okay”. Western values are based on rationalization of ruthlessness, cruelty and apathy, particularly attached to their created concept of race. Colonization, invasion and rape brought an explosion of incredibly blood drenched wealth back to Europe, so much so life became worth less. Skills and abilities, professions, could easily be bought cheaply or forcefully demanded from a slave or property instead of using or respecting millennia of expertise and knowledge. (A side note for this is that white groups from Left to Right, liberal to conservative believe in some way the presence of non-Europeans (or too many of them) inherently brings down values, whether property, salaries, etc. It all goes back to what “whites” perpetuated on other “whites”, not what “blacks” or others did.)

Now, with that background, returning to the reason I am writing this. I often receive questions, inquiries and requests sometimes through the documentary’s website or my personal or business websites. Whether in person or online, I have almost always experienced that people expect you to stop whatever you’re doing, put aside your own feelings, even traumas, to answer their questions upon command. And in a friendly or “helpful” way. This is a surprisingly hard situation, although I’m sure most of you would be puzzled why this is actually difficult for BIPOC, especially when you believe we should be flattered by your questions because you are showing you want to learn, woohoo!

Many of the queries are questions that can be answered by doing an Internet search. There are hundreds of websites by and featuring actual Indigenous people, on as many topics as you can imagine. Many Native nations of North America have websites, professional organizations, etc. Yes, we’re in the 21st century, are astrophysicists, doctors or regular employees, often at the same time practicing or regaining traditional beliefs and traditions, too.

Nativeness and Indigeneity doesn’t equal primitive or inability to cope in the modern world. That’s another Eurocentric lie they told to keep the narrative and power base under their control. And we get you are interested in Indigenous sources. That is to be commended and absolutely necessary. A first choice shouldn’t be asking a Native person to answer your questions but do the “legwork” yourself. Gaining knowledge and reassurance western values and systems are corrupt isn’t needed from us. You know it already. What are you doing about it? If nothing concrete and absolute, or asking what you should do? You haven’t done your research, and it suggests you’re looking for easy more palatable answers.

My son said, “Maybe they’re old and don’t realize Google is a thing.” And I said no that’s usually not the case. Also, the German value system has some distinct combinations or adaptations a little different than the rest of western society. Generally, Germany can be admired for having an adult population more willing to continue to self-educate. But there is also the expectation to SHOW how much you know, to prove your worth, and that you should be happy to do so especially if they give you a platform. They can get hurt, angered, perplexed when you, you a BIPOC always supposedly saying white people should listen to Indigenous perspectives more, then say no or ignore them.

But they want, want, want, need, need, need all the goddamn time. You can feel their need, a cultural emptiness, a desire for connection pouring out of them, pooling around their feet because their “culture” and society a) doesn’t provide what they need, b) is cruel, opinionated, judgmental etc, and/or c) the created “cultures” also do not always provide the depth needed. (Sidenote: this is also why some people, hobbyists for example, are so fanatically connected to and defensive of their behavior. It’s why some people are avid Trekkies, for example, totally immersing themselves in yet more fantasies and created ideologies).

You can understand the societies, the value systems they’ve grown up with, been traumatized by, sometimes very terribly, has caused this reaction and response. They rationalize fetishization or alternatively are disdainful of such attachments all while ignoring the systems they created and maintain are the root cause. Others have had to rationalize, to try to make themselves okay somehow within systems that are full of lies, lying, casual and studied cruelty, and practices designed to reduce you to nothingness if you do not choose to also be cruel and hurt others “for their own good”.

Germany is a new country comparatively, and for many reasons, some of which you may know and some of which you may not, is a product and reaction to traumatization that lasted for centuries and culminated in a holocaust they imagined necessary to exist in peace, but which certainly wasn’t the first or the worst in scope. Being self-sufficient, efficient, and unaffected by emotion or “irrrationality” is prized, yet is really a twisted response to trauma. In many ways opposite of Indigenous values or even their own original value systems.

It’s one of the main things Germans and other Europeans should learn from Indigenous people, healthy reaction and response to trauma, instead of their fixation on Indian stereotypes. It’s really hurtful and terrible because in my experience and observation, many Germans have the greatest hearts, can have genuine empathy and they want to do good and be good. Just beautiful and amazing, it brings tears to my eyes all the wonderful Germans I know who pour their hearts into helping others and living in a good way, but they are the most abused by their peers as being oversensitive and weak.

So, with such harsh “values” and practices, it’s no wonder cultural appropriation, wanting to be part of or enact traditions or cultures that are warm, inviting, and demonstratively loving is widespread. Yet too often, they go about seeking that knowledge and connection in racist, self-centered ways. I get asked or “told” about why they culturally appropriate, and receive explanations, reasons, EXCUSES on why they do so and think its “not so bad”, (we know this!) but which all ignore the effects are the same and that they are still perpetuating racism and colonialism. How colonialism? By taking from others without permission, without any kind of relationship, without reciprocity, you cause harm.

And now we’re back full circle to why I wrote this post. I don’t and we don’t owe anyone anything. If we answer, we’re giving up our time with our families, with our loved ones, from our time trying to heal from the daily microaggressions and traumas we are forced to deal with by the systems they support and benefit from, or we’re just keeping our boundaries. But we’re still expected to respond without hesitation or ire. This is distinctly a product of colonialism.

BIPOC people had to respond to white people, even small children, immediately, fully and in ways to make white people feel comfortable, safe and “good”. We had to be completely non-threatening in demeanor, stance, wording, everything just to “protect them” and effectively boost their egos. Not just the USA and South, but in Europe too. Society conditions BIPOC to do so and harshly penalizes, and continues to find ways to humiliate, stereotype even kill us when we do not.

And just like why people culturally appropriate, I get why they are asking these questions, and why sometimes they give a heart’s plea of their own circumstances, and I do empathize with that. I know how difficult and harsh their systems, colleagues, families and friends can be anyway, but especially when you are different and/or try to change or “buck the system”. Why? Because I/we have to deal with it every day, and no, we don’t get used to it. We usually never talk about or seldom reference this to “you” because we’re told we’re “playing the race card”, “making everything about race” or “everyone has a hard time!” They want to believe in their own goodness and the fairness of their completely unjust, racist systems.

Yes, having cultural, personal support, healthy relationships, empathetic response makes it possible to go on somehow, to go on another day, to not let the near constant ignorance, stupidity, racism, Eurocentrism and inequity get you down. In fact, our adaptability and ability to smile, still dance, laugh, make a joke out of trauma perplexes even infuriates some white people, while others use it to convince themselves “things are not so bad”. If they were in our place, they were would furious. We are. Believe me, and we are working to end western society’s bullshit and delusions for all our sakes. But I’m digressing: You cannot expect such support or relationships to appear just because you asked or want it to be so. “CP time” is a thing, “Indian time” is a thing but in more ways that the stereotypes you may have heard about.

BIPOC are not just “on demand” for your personal requests. Respect that. Show that.

BIPOC are not just “on demand” for your professional requests in the way you are used to or even that a contact form might suggest.

BIPOC people you are asking questions from, including myself, are often unemployed or underemployed despite having credentials equal or greater than white peers, in addition to experience and knowledge that is not inherent, but has been carefully gathered and collected through respectful networking and relationships with others. (For example, asking BIPOC for knowledge to improve a paid profession often teaching or decision-making for us, while excluding us as paid team members and educators.)

For those who says, “We’re just trying to treat you the same as we treat everyone, like you’re one of our colleagues!” Well, your ways suck, and you know they do. Any of the marginalized or minoritized among your own white people will tell you this. There’s a 1000 films, stories, documentaries etc acknowledging how vicious, discriminatory and bullying your systems are but white men especially, who gave themselves power through tremendous violence keep letting it go on, all while asking BIPOC to perpetuate the vicious system. That isn’t ignorance, that is sheer egoistic stupidity and cowardice.

I/we don’t want to be treated as you treat each other. We do not want to pollute or lose ourselves and our cultural connections by digressing to behave like you advocate just to fit in, and we don’t want to perpetuate your warped systems by supporting its white supremacist patriarchal structures. It is not a right way. It is not a good way, and even the most wise but often ignored in your society agree with this, they have for centuries, since colonialization, patriarchy, white supremacist and racist ideologies were created.


Especially with my documentary film appearance in February 2021, I received an increase in requests, some of which I responded to but more of which I did not. It wasn’t the right time for me to do so to say what I needed to say. I wasn’t in the mind to response in a right way. The “right way” doesn’t mean positive or good for the other person, it means the way in which it needs to be done. You’re already taking time and energy from us in doing so, and these are (of course!) losses that need to be balanced out and healed from. Boundaries are seldom respected with us, without those doing so realizing they are violating them. I/we are not a public service or web browser replacement. We are actual people who may be dealing with personal loss, health issues, child issues, whatever else, or just…. we don’t owe you anything.

For years, I/we have people think its flattering to us to ask our opinion or “expertise” about cultural appropriation or whatever, when they are still going to choose to do something racist and ignore us. Free expertise for their paid projects, especially those who have professions solely based on exploiting interest in Native or Indigenous cultures. Yes, we also need to support ourselves and our families! Our degrees and gained knowledge wasn’t free or without hardship! And no, it is not solely about the money (so don’t get fixated about that or if you’re asking me/us about a professional appearance or comment I/we deserve to be compensated) nor is it about any demand of respect.

It’s about treating others how you wish to be treated, placing yourself in their position/how it feels for the other person and actually caring. Your western values and systems teach you not to care about others, to be selfish or self-centered, and only see things from your perspective all while expecting them to submit and accept your bullshit and readjust themselves for your pleasure. Rape culture mentality indeed! Rigidity, stagnation, egoism. Nope. Rejected.

I cannot and have no desire nor feel any need to apologize to those who will be offended by what I’ve just said, if they read this far at all. If your heart is in the right place, you won’t stay offended by what I’ve wrote, and you will even acknowledge it as right even if you still don’t like it. That’s entirely fine and understandable. This is not to say I don’t or won’t answer requests and comments, and I realize your fear-based values will help you convince yourself you’re afraid to ask anything now! instead of prompting you to do self- and societal introspection and change/create change.

I know your nuevo European systems of ease and comfort condition you to expect immediate satisfaction or a reward for what you see as deserved, fantasized or real. Original European systems are not like that, as they are based on reciprocity, relationships and respect. You restrict yourselves and your minds, your relationships in so many ways, believing that nonsense because you want to think your behaviors don’t affect anyone else, especially negatively, unless they let themselves be affected. That mentality is why the world is in climate crisis, full of hate, resentment, cruelty, apathy today. Nope. Rejected.

We are all connected, don’t let your connections and contacts be in a negative, harmful way. Reciprocity, relationships and respect are some of the many things Indigenous systems from across the oceans have in common with original cultures of Europe, not the created colonial practices, systems and values so many righteously, perilously hold on to that continue a vicious cycle of delusion, emptiness and death. Of taking, of wanting, of expecting without thinking of consequences, effects or the harmful practices you perpetuate. I’m a person, we are people, not just your means to an end.