Stephanie Fryberg was quoted in this Washington Post article about President Trump’s use of the name Pocahontas during a ceremony to honor Navajo code talkers.
Excerpted from The Washington Post
Trump refers to ‘Pocahontas’ during ceremony to honor Navajo code talkers
Native American groups have long objected to President Trump’s use of the nickname “Pocahontas” to deride one of his political foes, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
But even at a White House event specifically intended to honor the World War II Navajo code talkers — the heroic Native Americans who helped the U.S. Marines send coded messages in the Pacific Theater — Trump couldn’t resist.
“I just want to thank you because you’re very, very special people,” Trump said Monday afternoon, speaking to a small group of code talkers. “You were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a representative in Congress who, they say, was here a long time ago. They call her ‘Pocahontas.’ ”
Trump’s reference — unrelated to the ceremony and widely considered an offensive racial slur — seemed to catch the code talkers off-guard, prompting polite smiles and silence. The scene played out in front of a portrait of President Andrew Jackson, who signed into law the Indian Removal Act.
Stephanie Fryberg, a professor of psychology and American Indian studies at the University of Washington, said she was aghast to see the ceremony in front of a portrait of Jackson and to hear Trump say “Pocahontas” again.
“Rather than really honoring those veterans he took advantage of their presence to make yet another demeaning remark about Senator Warren,” she said. “Why invite those honorable men to the White House if you can’t treat them with respect?”
Read the entire article here.