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Stereotype of the Month Entry

Another Stereotype of the Month entry:

From "The Dead Dog Café Comedy Hour" [formerly online]:

Listen for the Dead Dog Cafe again in the fall of 2000. We will once again be heard on "This Morning" (probably Thursdays) and also on "Basic Black" (Saturday mornings). Meanwhile, have a look around our site. We have added some features to help you get ready for the next season. Due to overwhelming demand for Authentic Indian Names, we have come up with an electronic version where you can get your new name in seconds. Each name is unique, and has been chosen specifically just for you. You can also brush up on your Conversational Cree, or study the Report of the Royal Commision on Aboriginal Peoples. If you consider yourself a real fan, try out the new "Themes Quiz". There's lots to see and do, so enjoy yourself... and don't forget to drop a letter in the mail slot!


Authentic Indian Names

Here are some of the names that we have given out over the years...

Original Name

Jane Fonda
Julie Whytewoman
Gerry (from Trish White)
Angus McCrackin
Rita Triarte-Ostapovich
Brian Dippie
Lisa Thackray
Eric Stubbert
Peter Richard Ware
John Brozak Granville
Bree Bird
Laura Donefer
Hubba McColgan
Authentic Indian Name

Barbara Floppy Tomahawk
Julie White Woman
Fudge Lounging Turtle
Lucious Buffalo Boulder
Belinda Yellow Rabbitglue
Gladstone Greasy Giggle
Beulah Tardy Chicken
Narcisse Naughty Sky
Barlow Blue Belly
Sober Goose
Bree Little Soft Cheese
Scarlet Quivering Elbows
Clara Fluffy Flounder

Natives reply

I have seen these people put up their website before. They choose a race or type or profession of person and totally mock them. This site isn't a stereotype, it's a racist site. Dead Dog is something affiliated with Southern Fandom orgs (the convention freaks who walk around with their little spacemen outfits and the ball antennae on their heads?). They're bad news.

The site is worse than stupidity. The so-called AINs are fake, as well...(at least they're not giving out authentic names). Cree doesn't break down into particles and nouns like that...they don't say "running bear," for instance. It's a whole different construct. These guys are maybe criminal. I wouldn't bother with criticising them. The site is blatantly insulting the idiots who think they can just visit a site and get an "authentic indian name," but it is also insulting Crees, just by listing them on the page.

A Cree woman


To whom it may concern:

The above listed sites naming page is extremely offensive. It may be claimed that it is done in "Tongue in Cheek" manner, and meant to be satirical, but it is blatantly racist.

For any entity to decided to start giving out American Indian Names to non-Indians, is first and foremost a slap in the Indigenous Peoples' faces. To make those name degrading, disparaging, a twisted caricature of the Indigenous Peoples, is insulting, dishonorable and disrespectful. This is even more onerous when done publicly and with the apparent approval of your organization.

Please rectify this situation immediately.


The letters emanating from Nat-list, First Nations list, and now mine, are 100% against it.

Anything that ridicules another, makes them look comical, plays into the stereotype is wrong. Kathy and Redjacket taught me that one long ago. it starts small, and builds.

If we were a highly respected People, admired and accepted as equal, satire by our own might be acceptable.

Until then, NOTHING that makes us look less, makes our ways appear a bit laughable, is.


Where do you get off with such racist and disrespectful crap? Do you believe you are being funny?

Well you are being insulting.

Do you pass out "instant" Chinese, African, or Christian names in the same ignorant manner? For the life of me I cannot understand why so many non-native people think the American Indian is a game to be played. We are not a game!


Wanishi (Thank you!)

Rob's comment
Some people have defended the site because the instigators are allegedly Native people making fun of white people, or because it's allegedly funny. Here's an exchange with one of these defenders:

>> we all need to laugh at our selfs once in a while <<

By the same token, maybe Jews should learn to laugh at the Holocaust, too. Don't they take it awfully seriously? It's old news, right?

>> Seems like the Crees of this program are sort of stream lining the process for these twinks et al...by just giving them a box to plug their names into and...ABRACADABRA!...they have an instant Indian name! <<

Seems to me whoever's doing this program is making fun of how Indians choose their names...pretending they pull them out of a hat after seeing a stray dog or tomahawk or hunk of cheese, rather than choosing them thoughtfully and ceremoniously.

I say "whoever" because it's not clear who's responsible for what at this radio station. Just because it has Native people on staff doesn't mean they're responsible for the Indian Name Generator. Or for putting it on the Web.

Consider this:  You say they're making fun of twinkies. I say they're making fun of Indians. You also say it's okay if the people are Indians making fun of Indians, but not if they're whites making fun of Indians. Even if the joke is the same.

These are two mutually exclusive arguments. One, that these people are making fun of white twinkies, which is okay. Two, that they're making fun of themselves, which is okay. Which is it: making fun of white twinkies or making fun of themselves? If you're not sure, how do you expect less discerning people to be sure? The situation is rife with potential misunderstandings and offenses.

Did you read the allegedly humorous "10 Reasons Why It's Good To Have Indians In Canada" on the same site? "Reason #1: Having Indians in Canada allows law enforcement personnel to practice on live targets." Is that making fun of white people? Do Indian people enjoy being equated with potential corpses?

While we're having fun, how about some Wounded Knee jokes? Isn't that what the US Army did...practiced on live targets? Wow, that's so funny I forgot to laugh.

Perhaps you see my point. If this is funny, it's the same humor neo-Nazis used when they circulated the Indian Hunting Season flyer last year. I don't remember anyone laughing at that, whether they were Indian or not.

Anyone who posts this kind of "humor" doesn't have Native people's interests at heart, in my humble opinion. That's why I view the Indian Name Generator in the worst light. This site is trying to belittle Indians.

Do Indians think Name Generator is funny?
>> Second -- all those my wife grouped emailed the link to were Indian themselves, and all of them thought the site was funny! <<

I e-mailed the link to a Cree friend and she thought the site was disgusting (see previous comment). I guess someone's sense of humor is out of whack.

Final comments:  If you think about it, you realize most people have what we could call descriptive names. George W. Bush, for instance, probably got his name because one of his remote ancestors had some significant connection to a bush. But do we call him "Shrubberyson" or anything similarly mocking?

No, of course not. We don't mock anybody for their descriptive names except Indians. Why do people belittle Indian names alone? Because they think it's an acceptable way to feel superior to others. Because they can, in short.

Rob aka Francis Shapely Nose

P.S. Since I wrote the above, the Dead Dog Cafe site has changed its "10 Reasons Why It's Good To Have Indians In Canada" list. The reasons are no longer insulting to First Nations people.

Readers respond
"[T]oo many people (of every race) are intellectually lazy and would rather label something as racist/bigoted/hate-mongering and demand its removal...."
"Its just a joke, and its not supposed to be authentic in anyway."

Related links
"Funny" Indian names

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Original text and pictures © copyright 2007 by Robert Schmidt.

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