A recent study of use of the word “Cherokee” on Twitter shows that stereotypes of Natives outnumber positive mentions by three to one: Susana at Indigenous Engineering found that words like “tomahawk” and “Pocahottie” were far more common than mentions of tribal sovereignty and citizenship. The study marks a sad anniversary for natives, the February signing of the Dawes act, which broke up tribal lands and resulted in millions of acres being seized by non-native white settlers. This year, February also included several major Democratic presidential primary debates, which took up discussion of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s contested claims to Cherokee ancestry. Susana’s analysis considers the use of the word “Cherokee” before and after the  February 7th debate, concluding: “It should be noted that on February 8th, 2020, the 133rd anniversary of the signing of the Dawes Act, Cherokee identity was again demonstrably hijacked by a white politician–this time not thought direct legislation, but rather words & actions in the social sphere.”

See full data and analysis on the Indigenous Engineering website: https://indigenous.engineering/projects/Cherokee-Online.html

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