‘Racist and Irresponsible’: NDN Collective Responds to Math Teacher’s Mockery of Native Americans in Classroom Lesson | NDN Collective

October 22, 2021

‘Racist and Irresponsible’: NDN Collective Responds to Math Teacher’s Mockery of Native Americans in Classroom Lesson

“This type of derogatory behavior by an educator is a prime example of the continued racist attitudes Indigenous people have experienced in educational systems that began with Indian boarding schools. Our Indigenous students need healing from the trauma inflicted by these ongoing racist practices. That begins with a curriculum that reflects the language and culture of the students being served."

For Immediate Release: October 21, 2021

Rapid City, SD — On Wednesday, October 20, a video went viral on social media of high school math teacher Candice Reed at John W. North Highschool in Riverside, California making a mockery of Native Americans. While delivering a classroom lesson, Reed put a fake headband of feathers on her head and began making motions of a “tomahawk chop,” whooping loudly, dancing and running through the classroom, even pretending to pray to “rock gods.” The lone Native American student in the class recorded the mockery on their phone and posted it to social media where it spread quickly. Outrage quickly ensued.  

The Riverside School District released a statement and placed the teacher on leave as the district investigates. In response, NDN Collective released the following statements: 

“The behavior of this teacher has roots. Her actions and ignorance depict the lack of cultural competency and disconnection to the original peoples of the land. The statement from the Riverside Unified School District Administration is the first step of accountability. Still, to adequately address the harm caused by this teacher’s actions, we need sustainable change through an equitable and inclusive curriculum, creating safe spaces for Indigenous students, and equitable policies that protect students from harm.” –-Sunny Red Bear, NDN Collective Director of Racial Equity

“Candice Reed’s actions were racist, irresponsible and perpetuate erasure and false stereotypes of Indigenous people. The Unified Riverside School District needs to do the right thing and fire her permanently. There needs to be zero tolerance for teachers engaged in these racist antics.” –– Nick Tilsen, NDN Collective President and CEO

 ”This teacher’s actions are a grave reminder of the harm inflicted in the so-called United States by teaching history solely through the lens of the oppressor. Our young people continue to miss opportunities to learn about how Indigenous people have contributed to this country since the onset of colonialism and continue to do so. The time for inclusive and accurate history to be included in the educational curriculum for all youth in our country is now. Indigenous history is U.S. history.”-– Amy Sazue, NDN Collective Education Equity Organizer

“This action underscores the necessity of efforts toward the preservation of Critical Race Theory, and reinforces the need for explicit inclusion of Indigenous history, culture, thought and philosophy within school content standards. This is imperative for cultivating culturally responsive and inclusive learning environments. Due to the historic and active erasure of our Indigenous knowledge and experiences from our education system, the entire narrative of Indigenous people is not only absent, but when visible, is often minimized, misrepresented and misappropriated in instances such as this. If the the foundational policies and standards of education were written through a more inclusive lens, we would see a reduction of systemic harm and an opportunity for students to think more critically and inclusively about the world we live in.” — Sarah White, NDN Collective Director of Education Equity

“This type of derogatory behavior by an educator is a prime example of the continued racist attitudes Indigenous people have experienced in educational systems that began with Indian boarding schools. Our Indigenous students need healing from the trauma inflicted by these ongoing racist practices. That begins with a curriculum that reflects the language and culture of the students being served. Culturally responsive teaching establishes a learning environment that is reflective of the students who are in the class. This creates a strong sense of belonging and strengthens cultural identity which leads to positive academic outcomes for students. ” — Mary Bowman, NISN Fellow and Lead Designer of the Oceti Sakowin Community Academy

###

NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building, and narrative change, we are creating sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms.

To Request An Interview or More Info Contact:

Cabot Petoia, clpetoia@gmail.com

November 2021 Edition

Stay Informed. Take Action.

Subscribe to the NDN allies newsletter

Sign up to get our newsletter. Delivered once per month.

We care about the protection of your data and would never sell your email or share it with anyone without your permission.

Posted 22 hours ago NDN Collective Selects 2021 Community Self-Determination Partner Grantees
Over $7million will be distributed to 92 Tribal, First Nations, Inuit, Metis and Indigenous-led nonprofit organizations across Turtle Island in their community efforts to defend, develop and decolonize
Posted 5 days ago NDN Collective Announces Vacancy for Vice President and Other Open Positions
Applications open for the Vice President position though January 1, 2022. Other open positions can be found at https://ndncollective.org/careers/.
Posted 5 days ago Congressional Testimony by Jade Begay, NDN Collective Climate Justice Campaign Director, on “What More Public Lands Leasing Means for Achieving U.S. Climate Targets.”

Jade Begay

"Precisely why I am here today, affirming what we all already know to be true -- which is that more public land leasing to oil and gas industries means that we will not achieve our climate targets, and instead we will be violating the commitments the U.S. has made to the global community around reducing our emissions as a nation. Leasing lands to oil and gas industries will move us closer towards catastrophic climate change, and cost the U.S. billions of dollars in potential future climate damages."
Posted 1 week ago 'Our Best Days are Ahead of Us’: NDN Collective Billboard Series debuts in Rapid City
NDN Collective Racial Equity Campaign collabs with artist Chad “Little Coyote” Yellowjohn for billboard design, debuting the first design in a five-week series of billboards to rotate throughout Rapid City, South Dakota
Posted 2 weeks ago Indigenous Artists Release LANDBACK Album on ThanksTaking, Executive Produced by NDN Collective
Featuring 10 Indigenous artists, the LANDBACK Album aims to combat the false narrative of Thanksgiving and paint an unapologetic Indigenous future
Posted 3 weeks ago NDN Collective Responds to Not Guilty Verdict in Kyle Rittenhouse Case
“A not guilty verdict in the Rittenhouse trial shows who this country’s judicial system is still prioritizing and protecting - white men. The fact that somebody can show up to protests armed with an AR-15, shoot and kill people, and then get off with a not guilty verdict, is horrific."
Posted 3 weeks ago Announcing NDN Collective’s 2021 Radical Imagination Artist & Storyteller Cohort
Ten NEW Indigenous artists and storytellers selected for NDN Collective's second cohort of the Radical Imagination Grant program.
Posted 3 weeks ago NDN Collective Kicks Off Radical Imagination Virtual Festival, A Multi-day Event

Brandi Douglas

Part one of the Radical Imagination Virtual Festival kicked off on November 12th, with three different artist roundtable discussions, numerous musical performances and notable words by NDN Collective staff and leadership.
Posted 4 weeks ago The Integrity of the Paris Agreement is at Stake: Indigenous Climate Action and NDN Collective Statement on Article 6
The International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) reaffirmed its position regarding the negotiations of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. This position includes safeguards for human rights and the rights of Indigenous Peoples, and proposes language changes to 6.4 and 6.8 that includes Free, Prior and Informed Consent and direct inclusion of Indigenous Peoples.
Posted 4 weeks ago ‘Demilitarization is Decolonization’: NDN Collective Releases Position Paper on Militarism Leading up to Veteran’s Day
NDN Collective calls for demilitarization and names the military industrial complex as a pathway for exploitation and deustruction of Indigenous communities.
NDN Collective
408 Knollwood Dr
Rapid City, SD 57701
P: +1 (605) 791-3999
E: info@ndncollective.org
© 2021 NDN Collective. All rights reserved.