Regarding the Christopher and Deb Michaels’ take on A Thanksgiving Play at Oregon Contemporary Theatre (Letters, “Educate Respect,” 11/21): Somehow I doubt that entertaining non-Natives is what Native artists have uppermost in their minds as they create plays, novels, films, poetry, painting, ceramics, music, dance, performance art, etc.
But, by all means, do find 21 ways to be more respectful to Native people. After all, they have been on the receiving end of several hundred years of genocide by the founders and settler colonialists of the United States so, for sure, be nice to them.
And when you can make the big leap from entertainment to literacy so that you can confront your own stereotypes and misconceptions (then you can deal with those of your children), I suggest you read Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. It’s a deeply disturbing book because genocide is deeply disturbing, especially when you realize precisely all the ways in which the genocide of Native peoples is foundational to the establishment of this alleged “land of the free and home of the brave.”
Spoiler alert: Dunbar-Ortiz has absolutely no interest in virtue signaling.