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October Actions

CALL FOR ACTION!!!!

Help Wisconsin First Nations People
Protest a Racist Play

The following appeal was posted on numerous Native American newsgroups. Please take the time to call at least one of the contacts listed. The misogyny and racism in this play is truly shocking. Please do what you can to stop this play from being produced.



From: Deborah_Kelly [mailto:deborah_kelly@y...]
> Sent: Monday, October 20, 2003 1:45 PM
> To: nafps@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: [nafps] Little Mary Sunshine
>
>
> [The characters in this play are as follows:
>
> Yellow Feather is the "savage" Indian who was supposedly killed, but
> who has vowed to come back and rape Little Mary
>Sunshine. His father
> is Chief Brown Bear who believes that his son, Yellow Feather, is
> truly dead. He decides to adopt Billy, one of the Forest Rangers, as
> his son to take the place of Yellow Feather.
>
> In this play "Kadota," "Dakota," and "Lakota" are used
> interchangeably. Chief Brown Bear speaks in fragments when speaking
> in English, as does Ernestine, who is a German opera star. This play
> is not only hateful of "Indian" people, but is also misogynist (the
> female characters are either whores or madonnas, or as in the case of
> Ernestine asexual) and anti-German.]
>
> The following are actual quotes from the play:
>
> (The lights come up and BILLY is seen coming out of the Teepee
> dressed in an Indian suit. He is followed by CHIEF BROWN BEAR.)
>
> BILLY. (Wiping brow and coughing.) Ah, fresh air. Your Teepee's a
> little stuffy, Chief. Tell me, do you always keep your horse in
> there with you?
>
> CHIEF BROWN BEAR. Indian pony's good animal. He likes me. He likes
> you too.
>
> BILLY. Well, as long as he likes us, that makes all the difference.
> Yes, sir, that was quite a ceremony, Chief, quite a ceremony. I feel
> like an Indian already. (Assuming Indian pose.) How's this?
>
> CHIEF BROWN BEAR. You are Indian. I give you wisdom and courage. I
> give you manly strength. (He takes out some dried raisins and
> blesses the food.) Toonk-ah-she-lah, Walk-on, Than-kah, tah-tee-ah-
> dotah, oon-chee mah-kah, wo-peelah. Me-tah-kee-yay oh-yah-sin.
>
> BILLY. Oh?
>
> CHIEF BROWN BEAR. Buffalo heart. Me-tah-kee-yay oh-yah-sin. For
> manly strength. Eat.
>
> BILLY. It's kind of gooey. My, oh, my. Yes, sir. What was it?
>
> CHIEF BROWN BEAR. Buffalo . .
>
> BILLY. I'm not very hungry. It's, it's very. . . .what is it? On
> second thought, don't tell me.
>
> CHIEF BROWN BEAR. Wash down with Minnie wah-kahn. (He hands a skin
> bag to BILLY. Next line should be said with a hint of sarcasm.)
> Good cooling fire water.
> BILLY. Say, Chief, that's very, . . . (Stomps around.) Ooo whee!
> Ooo whee!
>
> CHIEF BROWN BEAR. (Pleased.) You make fine Indian dancer. You are
> man now. You are my son. Now I give you presents.
>
> BILLY. Chief, if you're not careful you're going to kill me with
> kindness.
>
> CHIEF BROWN BEAR. First, your feather. (He sticks a feather in
> BILLY's headband.) Yellow feather for Yellow Feather.
>
> BILLY. There you go getting clever again.
>
> CHIEF BROWN BEAR. (Handing a belt to BILLY.) Good Indian belt.
>
>
> BILLY. Say, Chief, this is really something. What are all the
> little furry things?
>
> CHIEF BROWN BEAR. White man scalps. And last if the best present.
> Bow and arrows. Had these many, many years. Very fine.
>
> BILLY. Oh, Chief, I couldn't take that. Really.
>
> CHIEF BROWN BEAR. You take these. You are now my son.
>
> BILLY. Gee, this is jim dandy. (Tries it out. Shoots arrow off-
> stage.) My gosh, I didn't know it was loaded. You'd better teach me
> how to use this thing.
>
> CHIEF BROWN BEAR. Tomorrow I teach you. You learn to ride pony,
> too. Bareback.
>
> BILLY. Bareback? Now wait a minute, Chief . . .
>
> CHIEF BROWN BEAR. Tonight, tonight I pray to Wah-kon Tonk-kah, the
> Great Spirit. I thank him for bringing me a son.
>
> BILLY. Hey, look, chief; I brought you some presents, too. Here;
> first, a pocket knife.
>
> CHIEF BROWN BEAR. Pock-ket knife?
>
> BILLY. Yeah, for cutting. Very handy. (Demonstrates.) You can use
> it for all sorts of things; eat with it, screw driver, clean your
> nails; oh, it has all kinds of uses. Then, let's see; Oh, yes, a
> copy of the Rules and Regulations for a Forest Ranger. That's the
> best companionship a man ever had. (CHIEF BROWN BEAR nods
> appreciatively as he reads it upside down. BILLY rights it.) Now,
> one more. Ah, yes. Necktie.
>
> (BILLY displays a bright necktie.)
>
> CHIEF BROWN BEAR. (Looking quizzically at the necktie.) Neck-tie?
>
> BILLY. (Putting necktie around CHIEF BROWN BEAR's neck.) You wear
> it around your neck. And what it does; it sort of gives you that,
> that dressed up look.
>
> CHIEF BROWN BEAR. My son gives me presents. My son gives me
> necktie. Very good son, I wear necktie always.
>
> BILLY. It looks good. I like. Now you've got me talking that way.
>
> CHIEF BROWN BEAR. (Sitting on the rock L.C.) Ceremony is taking
> effect. I am glad.
>
> BILLY. You know what, Chief; I am glad, too.
>
> (Music in, ME, A HEAP BIG INJUN – Should not be read as such, but
> rather as "I'M A HEAP BIG INDIAN" –The song is sung and danced by
> BILLY as CHIEF BROWN BEAR watches and beats the rhythm on a small
tom-
> tom.
>
> (1st Refrain)
>
> BILLY.
>
> I'M A HEAP BIG INDIAN
> I'M A BIG KADOTA INDIAN THROUGH AND THROUGH.
> A FEATHER IN MY HAT I COULDN'T WEATHER
> BUT NOW I WEAR A HAT IN MY FEATHER.
> I'M A HEAP BIG INDIAN
> AND WE HEAP BIG INDIANS KNOW A THING OR TWO
> WE HAVE A SPECIAL LANGUAGE THAT I ONLY MASTERED NOW;
> INSTEAD OF SAYING `HOW D'YA DO?' WE INDIANS JUST SAY `HOW'.
>
> OH, I'M A BIG KADOTA
> I'M A HEAP BIG INDIAN THROUGH AND THROUGH.
>
> (Interlude)
>
> WHEN I WAS A LAD OF FIVE
> I DREAMED THAT I WOULD BE
> AN INDIAN BRAVE WHO LIVED INSIDE A TEE-PEE.
> MY DREAMS HAVE ALL COME TRUE AT LAST
> THOUGH I AM OVER FIVE,
> AND I WILL BE THE FINEST BRAVE ALIVE;
> I'VE ALWAYS BEEN A PALE FACE, BORN AND BRED,
> BUT SINCE I MADE THE CHANGE MY FACE IS RED!
> IT'S GOTTA BE SAID—THAT—
>
> (2nd Refrain)
>
> I'M A HEAP BIG INDIAN,
> I'M A BIG KADOTA INDIAN THROUGH AND THROUGH
> NOT LONG AGO I COULDN'T HOLD MY LIQUOR
> NOW FIRE WATER MAKES ME EVEN SICKER
> I'M A HEAP BIG INDIAN
> AND WE HEAP BIG INDIANS KNOW A THING OR TWO.
> FROM THE SADDLE I WOULD ALWAYS FALL OFF HORSES
> I RECALL
> BUT I'LL SOON BE RIDING BAREBACK `CAUSE THERE'S
> NOT SO FAR TO FALL.
> OH, I'M A BIG KADOTA
> I'M A HEAP BIG INDIAN THROUGH AND THROUGH
>
> (During the first half of this Refrain BILLY does an Indian Dance.)
>
> I'M A HEAP BIG INDIAN,
> AND WE HEAP BIG INDIANS KNOW A MAID OR TWO.
> I'LL HAVE A LAUGH WITH MINNIE-HA-HA, PRETTY RED WING
> I'LL REFORM.
> I'LL LOSE MY HEAD FOR POCAHONTAS IF SHE'LL KEEP MY TEEPEE WARM.
> OH, I'M A HEAP BIG KADOTA
> I'M A HEAP BIG INDIAN THROUGH AND THROUGH:
> HOW!
>
> [I included this section because it illustrates how little the locals
> care even about their own children. Imagine allowing your daughter
> to be a part of a production where a lecherous old man is using
> jewelry to convince her to sit on his lap and then threatens her with
> physical harm should she refuse. Considering that we are in the
> portion of the state that is known for a much higher than average
> incidence of child sexual abuse, I suppose I cannot be surprised.
> There is a school district not far from here and wherein I almost
> exclusively sub teach that would NEVER even contemplate having this
> play produced.]
>
>
> OSCAR. There's a saying that it's better
> If we give than if we take
> And I want to give but etiquette says no;
> I can't carry out its letter
> And its form I must forsake
> But I've kept the spirit proper as I'll show
> And so:
>
> (1st Refrain)
>
> Think of me as a kind and loving uncle
> Uncle is just the thing I want to be
> You're my very fav'rite nieces
> That I simply love to pieces
> Won't you come and sit on uncle's knee?
> You dimpled darlings,
> Uncle can give you lots of pretty presents
> Uncles is not a kith, he's just a kin.
> Take them please
> Or I must squeeze
> Your dainty hands `til you all, say "Uncle."
>
> (3rd Refrain)
>
> OSCAR. Think of me as a king and loving uncle
> Giving a trinket here, a bauble there.
> I am like the baby brother
> Of your darling dad and mother
> Let me run my fingers through your hair,
> You'll learn to love it,
> Uncle delights in giving pretty playthings.
> Tell me that not my bounds I've overstepped.
> Take my gold
> Or I must hold
> You tightly, dears, `til you all
> Say "Uncle."
>

Here's the contact info:


It's the Viroqua Area School District: 115 N. Education Avenue,
Viroqua, WI 54665. 608-637-1186. The High School, wherein this play
is being produced and performed as part of an English class - that
means that federal money is being used here - is at 100 Blackhawk
Drive, Viroqua, WI 54665, 608-637-3191.

The school board members for whom I have addresses and/or phone #s are as follows:

Garith Steiner. 219 E. South Street, Viroqua, WI 54665. 608-637-7205

Scott Mills. S3389 County Road B, Westby, WI 54667. 608-634-4530

Janet Reed. E. 8112 County Rd SS, Viroqua, WI 54665. 608-637-7743.

Phil Solverson. S5086 Boat Landing Rd., Viroqua, WI 54665. 608-637- 3587.

Jim Olson. (Owns a local car dealership). 1-800-373-0496

[The last two board members and Sue Jacobson, whose phone number I don't know, are board members I assisted in getting elected because I wanted so much to see the superintendent out of his position. They have, of course, been wholly unresponsive to the racism their district continues to encourage.]

The teacher who is producing this play is Sherry Getter,
608-637-1315.

The name of the principal who must have approved the production of this play is Bill Tourdot,

608-637-3191.
The director of instruction (i.e. curriculum) is Kathy Hanson,

608- 637-1115

I am posting some of the play in a following post. That they are considering performing this play is not surprising. I have been telling a number of people, including those we with on the Wisconsin taskforce re: the logos/mascots, that what is happening here is escalating and my daughter has been seriously harmed as a result. To date we have received no support - not a single person has called to support us or called to school to even comment on what they did to my child - and what I warned people about is obviously coming to fruition.

Deborah





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