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‘Bittersweet Winds’ examines pop-culture stereotyping of Indians


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Images that reflect outright stereotyping will be displayed alongside more accurate portrayals of Native American people and culture in a touring exhibit open for public viewing this week at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

The exhibit “Bittersweet Winds,” subtitled “Honor and Prejudice: Perspectives of the Native American World,” will be on display from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. both Tuesday and Wednesday (Nov. 30 and Dec. 1) in Phoenix Room B of the University Union. The exhibit will be accompanied by documentary screenings, a gallery talk and a panel discussion, all taking place in Phoenix Room B.

The collection is the work of educator and activist Richie Plass, a Menominee/Stockbridge-Munsee who has been a prominent spokesperson as Wisconsin policymakers have taken up the issue of American Indian cultural history and the use of race-based mascots. The campus visit by Plass and his exhibit is organized by the Intertribal Student Council organization at UW-Green Bay.

The schedule of public events:

Tuesday, Nov. 30

9 a.m. to 7 p.m. – Exhibit is open
9:30 a.m. – Screening of one-hour Teen Connection by Wisconsin Public Television on “Indian Mascots”
12:15 p.m. – A 45-minute guided tour and gallery talk by Richie Plass
1:30 p.m. – Screening of the one-hour PBS documentary In the White Man’s Image about forced removal to government boarding schools
3:30 p.m. – Faculty panel discussion of the recent presidential proclamation that the Friday following Thanksgiving is designated “National Native Heritage Day” and that November is native heritage month
5 p.m. – Screening of 67-minute DVD, WaWHO? Nothing is Sacred, which takes on the Cleveland Indians’ grinning “Chief Wahoo” character and similar race-based mascots

Wednesday, Dec. 1

9 a.m. to 7 p.m. – Exhibit is open
9:30 a.m. – Screening of In the White Man’s Image
Noon – Guided tour
1:30 p.m. – Screening of Indian Mascots
3 p.m. – Screening of 15-minute video Native America: Diversity within Diversity
4 p.m. – Screening of the one-hour video  Hanto Po – An Historical Photographic Essay on the American Indian Movement

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