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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 28, 1975)
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ndan programs said
to reinforce prejudice
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By Marian Lucas
Hie Indian Studies Program appears to reinforce prejudices,
according to Alfonso Ortiz, professor of anthropology at the
University of New Mexico. Ortiz spoke Friday afternoon as part of
the 1975 Indian Pow Wow, sponsored by the Council of American
Indian Students (CAIS).
Ortiz, author of "The Tewa World," said programs for Indians
function solely as social outlets and that very few are vital cultural
activities. "I am alarmed at the number of programs that have sown
poison ivy," Ortiz said.
A contributor to various anthropological journals, Ortiz said
today's Indians must begin to turn intolerable situations into
something from which they can learn.
Speaking on "The Role-of the Educated Indian," Ortiz claimed
Indian scholars returning to the reservation aren't trusted by their
own people because of the scholars allegiance to not only their race
but also to their professions.
"If you want to use education to serve Indian people, you'll win
distrust from collegues in your own field," he said.
Ortiz said historians fashioned a conception about the Indians
instead of reporting it. He said historians were trying to rationalize
what he called their capture of the Indians' land by rendering them
as wanderers and savage hunters instead of concerned farmers.
Indians will not be broken up by the white man's formal
education, Ortiz said. He said Indians have always bounced back no
matter what kind of pressures were put on them.
Ortiz, an American Anthropological Association fellow, said an
ironic twist of fate could occur if the federal government's
Headstart Program for preschoolers could be Indianized. Instead of
"surpassing Indian cultures," their own values could be injected,
thereby perpetuating Indian cultures, said Ortiz.
Ortiz expressed a concern about the Indian's identity problem.
He cited the American Indian Movement as an example of a
threat to Indian credibility.
John Arbuckle, former director of United Indians of Nebraska,
also spoke Friday afternoon as part of the Pow Wow.
Concerning resource management, Arbuckle, former Indian
counselor at UNL, said there is a need for Indian people trained in
modern resources and Indian tradition.
"We need to do something about the white problem," said
Arbunkle, added that Indians are "hungering for communication,
but there's no one to feed them."
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monday, april 28, 1975
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