Brickbat: Indian Givers


Totem pole
Mark Hryciw / Dreamstime

Forty-four years ago, students at Summitview Public School in Ontario made a totem pole. It stood at the school long after they left. But officials recently took it down after discovering it was made without indigenous input.


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  1. But then it had to be put back up as it is discovered the pole was removed without input from the white man.

  2. You know what else was put up without indigenous input?

    1. that nasty little teepee in my pants…

    2. All that corn in the Midwest?

    3. I think we should all be a little more indigenous. In fact, we should have a holiday for indigenous people. One day where we could all go around being indigenous to each other…..

    4. I made two kids without indigenous input.

      1. That’s what your wife tells you.

    5. I drank some firewater without indigenous input.

  3. “. . ., the board consulted with representatives from the Chippewas of Georgina Island, a local First Nation, who agreed the totem pole had to come down.”

    So the First Nation and the Indig Nation agreed it had to come down.

    1. Chippewas? I thought they were Ojibwe.

      1. The fact that European explorers usually found out the names of tribes by asking their often-hostile neighbors led to all kinds of fun.

        “Iroquois” is the French pronunciation of the Wendat word for “real snakes.” The Wendat and the Haudenosaunee (as the Iroquois called themselves) were traditional enemies.

        “Cherokee” isn’t even pronounceable in the Cherokee language, which doesn’t have a “ch” or “r” sound – it would come out as “Tsalagi.” They call themselves Aniyunwiya. “Cherokee” is a Creek word that means “people who hide in caves.”

        “Comanche” is a Pueblo word that means “people who are always attacking us.”

        And so on.

        1. Well, who knew Citizen X majored in Indigenous Studies.

          1. A man is allowed to have interests, Chipper.

            1. better this than that whole “School Yard Survey” thing…

        2. We got the same thing among us descendants of eurotrash. For example, it wasn’t until I was in college before I discovered that “damned Democrats” was actually two words.

          1. and you still left out the “fucking”….thought that might be silent?

        3. Well, we’ll just have to un-truth those “facts”, white man.

          The First Nations peoples lived in perfect harmony*; with the Earth, with their own spirits, and with their neighbors. The migrations of tribal peoples from one place to another (often from a place of mild climate, plentiful game (harvested in humane and ecologically sound manner) and abundant agricultural produce to harsher and less salubrious places) were undertaken after discussion, negotiation and consultation with spirit ancestors.

          Therefore, by the imperatives of The Narrative, the inter-tribal names you give must represent misunderstandings or deliberate misrepresentations.

          *-It is unnecessary to add the phrases “Only a racist would deny…” or “It is widely confirmed that…”.

    2. The Chippewas didn’t build totem poles – that was a west coastal tribe thing. Way to appropriate responsibility for Tlingit culture, Chippewas.

      1. off with their scalps!!!

        1. No, no, that’s a white thing that the Native Americans appropriated.

          1. APPROPRIATION!!!!

  4. I guess ENB’s indigenous name is Tuktulongwitlinks.

    1. Not Mustbehotinsack?

  5. Well that certainly nullifies the artistry. Did someone complain?

  6. So tear down all the NYC skyscrapers that Mohawk steel walkers built according to plans drawn by the white usurpers of Manhattan?

    1. Hey, that’s one of the few pieces of North American real estate the European settlers bought fair and square instead of just taking it.

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