Negative stereotyping

We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor. —Romans 15:1

Native American Indigenous Peoples deserve to be heard. The dehumanization of people through the use of negative and trivializing stereotyping.  This acti contributes to violence against certain people because they are seen as less than human.  Racism and oppression have affected these communities far too long, and they have the right to self-determination and to demand change. The use of Native Americans as logos, mascots and with negative imagery, especially in the corporate community, continues to disparage this nation of people, who ask that it stop.  Many indigenous people object to the names and logos but feel powerless to strive for change because of past failure or because of a "conditioning" from years of living with racism in America.

Native Americans everywhere have expressed their feeling that the oppression caused by failures of government policies and the poverty both on and off the reservations are related to a great extent to negative stereotyping and the distortion of Native Americans° history and imagery.  The psychological, sociological and educational impact upon indigenous people due to this negative stereotyping is immeasurable.  As Christians, we must challenge the use of Native Americans as caricatures, and instead honor all human beings as being created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27).

Since 1991, the UCC's General Synod has prioritized the issue of negative stereotyping of Native Americans and has called each member of the United Church of Christ to uphold actions that would result in positive change.


Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson
Minister for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115