OKLAHOMA CITY— On Monday, Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry will take a protest to the Oklahoma state capitol between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and deliver a 90-page petition with some 8,000 signatures to the governor’s office.
The protest will be held at the North Plaza of the State Capitol in downtown Oklahoma City.
Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, a group of Native parents and their allies from across the country are calling on Governor Mary Fallin and the Oklahoma government to recognize the racism and discrimination in Oklahoma and do something about it.
Governor Mary Fallin
Apologizing for the pain caused by mocking Native American culture is not a solution. We feel attacked by the Oklahoma state government under Fallin’s administration for being American Indian.
“Mary Fallin and her staff are more worried about the way they are perceived by the dominant society of our world at large. By her actions, and those of Christina Fallin, I think that Mary Fallin and her family are clearly apathetic about Native Americans. The Fallins are being cruel in many regards to fellow human beings. Fallin and other legislators ignore our rights as citizens to important governments in the borders of this state by circumventing those rights. My ancestors who survived the Trail of Tears, singing hymnals in Cherokee, also brought our citizenship rights with them. The state government has turned its back on communicating with the Tribal Nations here just like some of the fellow “Christians” did by spitting at my ancestors. Mary Fallin backed the removal of a Cherokee child from the capable and loving family God blessed her with, that’s not Christian behavior. Why didn’t Mary Fallin call attention to Custer County after the killing of a Native teenager? This is a call for reckoning on a dire situation. It is time for us to come together and fix what discrimination is destroying. It is important enough for EONM to get permission to demonstrate on the North Plaza of the Capitol with our many allies on Monday during lunch hours.” – EONM member and Cherokee-Muskogee Creek writer Jennie Stockle.
In just over two weeks, EONM has gathered 8,000 signatures from Oklahomans, Native Americans and Americans nationwide. EONM members will be presenting all the signatures gathered to Governor Fallin’s office. EONM requested a meeting with the Governor on May 9th so they could point out problems face to face, but we were told it would be a few months before she was available to schedule a meeting.
EONM is also calling for an increase in knowledge by adding a Native History and Cultural curriculum mandate. In fact, Oklahoma already financially provides some wonderful Native History and Culture curriculum in their growing home study schools that use Calvert Academy. However, public ally followed projects like the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum are failing due to the apathy of state leadership on such an important collaborative project that involves educating the public about Native Americans. Native American Tribal governments can formally turn to a single person in Oklahoma, a Native American liaison. We find that lack of formal communication avenues in a state that boasts the second highest Native population shameful.
“There has been a breakdown in the relationship between the Oklahoma government and the Indigenous nations since Fallin took office. We’ve seen the end of the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission and as a result we now have local and state government officials trying to attack and ignore the sovereign rights of our native nations. For example, Fallin’s involvement in the Baby Veronica case that clearly violated the sovereign rights of the Cherokee tribe to have a say in the adoption and custody of Veronica Brown. The fact that her daughter, Christina Fallin, continues to disrespect Native people is just a testament of Fallin’s attitude towards Oklahoma’s Indigenous people, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. What Fallin needs to remember is that the Native nations of our state contribute billions to our state’s economy and provide close to 100,000 jobs. We are not as powerless or invisible as she believes we are.” – EONM member and Native Max Magazine Managing Partner, Johnnie Jae.
Our petition calls for big changes, but it is only to return to a less extreme environment politically and to help repair the lines of communication and the relationship between the Oklahoma government and its Indigenous people.
The goal is to build a better future for all the people in the state of Oklahoma and that begins with holding Fallin accountable for the damage that she has allowed and perpetrated.