Friday, April 30, 2010

Not Teepees!

Posted By on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 4:50 PM

click to enlarge NAMcensus_stand3-377x400.jpg

One of the locally relevant Census ads that TRT staff helped create created

Apparently, those folks flacking for the U.S. Census just think "teepee" when they think "Indian" and, as a result, their attempts to pull in Native Americans for the 2010 count instead repelled some members of the Hoopa Valley Tribe.

As the Two Rivers Tribune reports in its latest issue, TRT Advertising Clerk Connie J. Davis was shocked when she saw the Census ads that would be running in our region, depicting a Plains Indian with teepees in the background. Said Davis:

My immediate reaction was, 'there's no way we can print those!' ... None of the ads they sent us reflected our region.

So Davis complained to G & G Advertising, the Census Bureau subcontractor that made the ad, and G & G sent over a couple more efforts. Wrong and wrong again.

So the TRT took over and made their own dang ads, with help from facilitated by New America Media. They created four regionally relevant ads -- including the one up top and the one below -- reflecting the importance of rivers and salmon and tribal culture to local people. The ads apparently impressed a congressional Census subcommittee that met earlier this year.

click to enlarge NAMcensus_gamble2.jpg

As an odd side note, a post on New America Media's Web site about this and similar Census outreach efforts has a goofily off detail on the living situations of present-day Hupa people, with regards to the teepee question:

Their community's "trusted voices" ultimately advised that the [teepee] image was inappropriately stereotypical and irrelevant to the Hupa, who live in subterranean housing, in northeastern Humboldt County's Redwoods.

 

 

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Heidi Walters

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Heidi Walters worked as a staff writer at the North Coast Journal from 2005 to 2015.

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