Press Release

Contact: Jake Al Reum or Joan Vanhala at Honor Nation
Phone: 612 501-3271 or 612 721-6631 x202
Honor Nation c/o NAES
3123 East Lake Street
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55406
Fax 612-721-2022

Honor Nation
Honoring Indigenous Culture for Generations
Press Release:   For Immediate Release

Local Grassroots Native activist group, Honor Nation, to hold a Press Conference and Protest!

The purpose of this press conference is to address issues surrounding the petition protesting the Stereotyping of Native Americans at the 2004 Grammy awards broadcast on CBS. The petition has over 13,000 signatures.

4:15 p.m. Thursday, April 1st
Corner of 11th Street and Nicollet Mall
Outside WCCO Channel 4 – the local CBS affiliate

WCCO refused our traditional form of delivering the petition on March 16. This petition, signed by 13,000 + worldwide, protests the CBS broadcast of racist stereotypical imagery .

Minneapolis MN, March 31, 2003: Honor Nation is inviting the local and national press to our press conference regarding this Petition. The unacceptable use and disrespectful misappropriation of Native icons, broadcast in the OutKast performance at the 2004 Grammy's, is to be discussed and explained.

We will also discuss the shabby treatment we have encountered while attempting to deliver this petition to Local affiliate WCCO. The National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media will attend as issue supporters

Honor Nation Representative will be available to receive questions after press conference.

A protest of WCCO, CBS, and entities connected to the disrespectful Outkast performance, will take place simultaneously.

A date for the CBS affiliate representatives to meet with Honor Nation and listen to our panel of Native American educators, elders and community members is expected. This is the primary objectives of our April 1st  visit to WCCO. Honor Nation will also be expecting WCCO/CBS to provide apologies for their insensitive regard of native issues. WCCO's response to the real native population at their doorstep has fallen drastically short of any mark that defines dignifying, respectful, or sincere in the opinion of Honor Nation. Honor Nation does not apologize if we do not meet the stereotypical image expected by the CBS corporation. 

Minneapolis MN, March 16, 2003: Ki Ki Rosatti, WCCO Director of communications at the local CBS affiliate in Minneapolis, called the Honor Nations representative approximately twelve minutes prior to the scheduled arrival time at their affiliate offices. Rosatti suggested Honor Nation call off the delivery and assembly regarding A petition addressing Stereotyping involving the music group Outkast. Rosatti offered to meet with a select group to discuss our Native American issues with the CBS misrepresentation of native culture. Honor Nation called the WCCO offices and sent the emails at least 4 days previous to their arrival and faxed the press release that Tuesday morning.

As a prelude to the delivery agenda, Dakota songs, provided by Barry Frantum were sung while those present in the windy cold smudged with sage. Author, activist and Elder Vince Hill (Ojibwe) provided the opening prayer in Ojibwe. Neither Ed Piette nor any WCCO officials were present to address Honor Nation.

WCCO was not willing to allow Honor Nation to present the petition in a ceremonial way that honored and blessed all that signed the petition. WCCO wants to simply take the petition and review it through their corporate lens. The whole issue and arrogance of stereotyping of native culture is so ingrained in American media that entities like CBS insensitively think they can solve the problem without input from the Native people themselves. Native spirituality and culture belongs to and originates with the indigenous people not with the media or corporate entities. Permission and guidance in the use of Native Spiritual Icons and Identity ought to be sought before presentations for public and consumer consumption are considered.

A final traditional song rang out as Honor Nation and allies prepared to disburse with the undelivered Petition in hand.
WCCO would not listen to the Native elders assembled at their door.
WCCO was not willing to listen to the educators or multi ethnic supporters assembled at their door.
WCCO offered to take the petition only on their terms. They would not listen to speakers nor take note of the ceremony prepared by Honor Nation to deliver the petition signed by more that 12,900 signatories.
WCCO attempted to divide Honor Nation by demanding to meet with "select" members only.
WCCO complained that prior notification, of Honor Nation and their allies’ agenda was not provided.

Minneapolis MN, March 12, 2003 Outkasts performance at the 2004 Grammy’s has been written about from coast to coast as well as worldwide. Out of the Outrage at the misappropriation of native culture by Outkast, arose the petition located at this web address. http://www.petitiononline.com/2outkast/petition.html

The petition contains over 12,800 signatories. Entrees from China, New Zealand, Germany, England, Italy, The Philippines and other locations around the globe, join with the thousands across the Americas who have signed this petition. Conscientious persons of all races have supported the spirit of the petition by signing it. Voices of native writers, Pow-wow and tribal royalty, Native teachers, Native elders, Native Celebrities, Native activists, reservation and urban Indians and First Nations Chiefs join to call for dignity and respect of our spiritual and cultural icons through this petition.

Honor Nations delivery of the petition will include statements of support from community members of several ethnic groups and nationalities as well as commentary from local Native Elders. The petition will be blessed in traditional ways before it is handed to WCCO General Manager, Ed Piette, as we await the apology we have requested. Published quotes from various articles nationwide provide substantial weight and validity to the claim and views of those who signed this petition. We only have space to provide a few quotes from the many media reports that validate the premise of the petition.                                                                                       Honor Nation 612 501-3271