'Cage The Indians' Homecoming Float Prompts Oklahoma Student To Speak Out
FORT GIBSON, Oklahoma - An Oklahoma student is speaking out about a Fort Gibson High School homecoming parade float she says was deeply offensive to Native Americans.
It was the last thing 18-year-old Maddie Lamb, of Tahlequah, expected to see when scrolling through her Snapchat.
"It was a bunch of girls inside of a cage on a homecoming float dressed in cheap feathers and some bright colored paint, and fringe shirts, and they were doing a war call and saying, 'Cage the Indians,'" Lamb said.
Lamb is Creek and Mojave, and said the pictures are harmful.
"Our Native ancestors were actually caged ... raped and killed and murdered and tortured, and it was women, children and elders," Lamb said.
When Lamb contacted the girls on Snapchat voicing her concerns she said she was blocked.
So she went to Facebook.
"As a Native American we see a lot of things like that ... but it really is a big deal especially to us because we are still here and we are real people and being mocked with silly costumes is not OK," Lamb said. "It just kind of blows my mind. It's 2017 and we are still stuck in this kind of mindset."
Lamb's Facebook post has been shared more than 2,000 times.
She hopes it will help educate her peers about racial and cultural insensitivity.
"Honestly, I would just like to see them stop, which is the main goal of this, to get people to stop and realize that what they are doing is not OK."
Fort Gibson Schools released a statement, saying "With almost 50% of our students being Native American we are sensitive to the culture and strive to respect all people. There was never an intent to be disrespectful or offend anyone. However, it will be used as an educational opportunity that will be coordinated through our Native American culture teachers and staff."
The father of one of girls in the picture said his daughter has gotten death threats because of the post and said the situation was taken out of context.