Yes, it’s Michigamua tapping season:
“Date: Wed, 3 Mar 2004 03:26:40 -0500
From: Nickole Fox foxn at umich.edu
Subject: say NO to Michigamua’s tap
After creating beautiful powwow diag boards until 2am tonight, a group of dedicated NASA members were about to venture home. However, we were caught off guard by a suspicious group of students gathering near the fountain in Michigamua Plaza (outside the union), appearing to hide something. These students muttered “its NASA” and “ooo…the Chief.” While we are not certain of their affiliations on campus, it was clear they didn’t want to be around us and it reminded me of what time of year it is: Michigamua recruiting time.
If you do not know, Michigamua has a long history of degrading Native American Culture. They would wear loin clothes, paint themselves red and give each other suto-indian names and use language of a broken English sort, like “me like um squaw.” They have been pictured in the yearbook smoking a pipe, with beers in hand, on the presidents lawn. While these examples are wrong on many levels, I encourage each person who receives this email to educate yourself about this organization. I know it can be hard to understand some issues concerning Native people, so to help you understand…if there is anything that confuses you, think about the action if it was against another group of people. Think about blackface, think about the KKK…
What I am asking of you is to
1) if you are a junior, and they want you to join, say no, no matter how much the connections will benefit you. If you are interested in the community service aspect of the org, join another group that does community service, there are a ton of them, and if you need help finding one, I will gladly help.
2) If you are a current member: get out. its not worth it. the group may or may not have changed their practices (they said they would change in the 70’s, again in writing in 89 and didnt!) but the history they carry in the name is not worth your time. Imagine if the KKK decided one day to not be a racist organization any longer….would KKK still mean the same thing to the people it hurt? yes. Would you then join the KKK? Please know the history and know that you are a part of an organization that was founded on hatred, do you really want to be associated with that?
3) if you are alum of gamua: see #2
4) if you don’t fit any of the above, educate yourself, and everyone you know.
Here are some links:
Sorry if you receive this email multiple times. I just think this is something
everyone needs to know about, especially University students, alumni, faculty,
Hoping for social justice,
University of Michigan
Co-chair-Native American Student Association
Sociology & Native Studies B.A. student