Another Stereotype of the Month entry:
vikinglady03 <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Just had to show you this newly opened "Indian country" in an amusement park just down south of Gothenburg where I live.
You can visit Dinosaurepark, Fairy Tale Country, Piratecountry and Indian country and the kids get to look at some tipis, a couple of western wagons and three *real Indians!!*
Since the Indian country just has opened I guess they havenīt got any photos. Yet. But when they have, could I enter this for the stereotype of the month-contest??
This is actually even worse than the westerntown High Chaparral, because this puts Natives in the same cathegory as Pirates, Cinderella, Snowwhite and Dinosaures....and this is what kids learn! Irrrrrrrrrk!
Annika Banfield, a Swedish woman who runs a charity for Native children called World In Our Hands, pointed this park out to me. What makes it worse is that a Cree man, Ken Roulette, is the front man for this racist travesty.
The other theme park she mentions, High Chaparral, I've actually seen. It's as bad as a western movie from 50 years ago, with cigar store Indians in front of canvas tipis, play sets for kids to dress up as Indians, and plywood cut outs of Indians for people to take their photos with. The owners are smart enough to avouid having any of this on their website though.
High Chaparral does hire Indian dancers, mostly Lakotas. Most stay for only one season. They're required to stay in their regalia at all times, even to go to the bathroom, and cannot leave the park. Not surprisingly, many of them take to drinking heavily or using drugs. The place is pretty notorious as a drug haven, the Hell's Angels even hold an annual rally there.
Both of them are standouts for the Stereotype of the Month, maybe for the whole year.
After I posted this entry, Annika sent a note to clarify matters:
I'm Annika from Sweden, a friend of Al Carroll's. He entered the Swedish Theme Park "Aventyrslandet" in your contest Stereotype of the Month and I just noticed that you had it up on your website! That's great -- thanks a lot!!!
Just wanted to let you know that they have indeed put up a link to "the Indian land" but they call it "Pirate and Indian land". The text says: "Live like an Indian in your own tent. This is where you can play Indian and learn more about Indians." And to the right of that text: "Meet a real Indian. You can play around, run, climb and jump as much as you want. Among forts, pirateships and indian tents there are many exciting things to discover. If you're really lucky you might even meet a real Indian!"
Pirat & Indianland
Maybe you could add this link, too, because even if most people can't read the Swedish text, it just shows with those two photos what they think about Indians....
Thanks a lot -- love your website! :)
Greetings from Sweden
With no pictures of or links to Indianland on the main page, Aventyrs Land still seems to be minimizing the Indian presence. I wonder if they realize, at least subconsciously, that there's something wrong with mixing dinosaurs, knights, pirates, and Indians.
Quoting Annika again:
>> This is actually even worse than the westerntown High Chaparral, because this puts Natives in the same cathegory as Pirates, Cinderella, Snowwhite and Dinosaures....and this is what kids learn! Irrrrrrrrrk! <<
Which is the message people used to get from Disneyland, and still get from "Peter Pan" productions and newspaper comic strips.
See the link at the top of America's Cultural Roots for another bizarre theme park. This one is arguably the worst of the bunch.
Disneyland: where seldom is heard a discouraging word
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