Name the Change, DK

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#NameTheChange is a campaign to end the use of the slur “dirty Kanza” as the event name of DIRTY KANZA (DK) in Emporia, KS.

We, a united collective of Indigenous advocates, cyclists, people of Faith, educators, Elders, youth, local Kansas residents and builders of a Just world, ask that the name of the gravel event be changed to honor the dignity of the land and Indigenous people. The campaign calls upon the owners of the "DK", organizers, and sponsors to do the right thing and bring an end to the use of the racial epithet.

For Indigenous people, their race or culture is not a name or costume they take off at the end of the day, but rather something that is both a source of pride and a source of oppression. Native people have fought and are still fighting for the right to exist on their lands and participate in an equal playing field where their identity and sovereignty is respected. 

Kanza is the official name for the Kaw people, contrary to popular sources and belief. According to “The Kaw People” by Dr. William Unrau, in 1673 Father Jacques Marquette’s map maker recorded a Kansa village and in 1861 the state of Kansas took its name from this first irrefutable historical reference without even asking the Kanza people for approval.  They are the “People of the South Wind,” who lived in Kansas long before white settlers arrived. The Kanza were the predominant tribe in what became the state to which they gave their name (Kansas), also taken without permission. Their territory extended over most of present-day northern and eastern Kansas, where DK rides through broken treaty land.

The term “dirty” was used by colonizers to describe Natives (Indians.)  The practice of calling Natives "dirty" make it clear that colonizers did not think Indian people deserve integrity and validated settler colonial violence and racism.

Prefacing dirty to KANZA does that.

While it's become commonplace to witness public displays of bigoted and offensive language, mascots, team names, and cultural appropriation and misrepresentation of Native culture, people fail to take into account the hundreds of years of anti-Native attitudes towards Native people and how that’s  desensitizing, leading to misrepresentations, appropriation, and discrimination by our society, hurting Natives and non-Natives alike.

Prefacing dirty to KANZA does that.

Xavier University Professor David Rider said, "Negative images and attitudes toward American Indians have served precisely the same function: To protect the historical oppressors from a sense of guilt over the atrocities committed against Indians and to justify further exploitation."

Prefacing dirty to KANZA does that.

With support from the cycling community, local community members, indigenous people, allies, educators, and people of faith we will make our need for change known. 

Native American peoples from ocean to ocean have long experiences with twisted words, meanings and thinking, and also recognize patterns of a past that do not need to be repeated. This issue is part of Native solidarity of reclamation and protection of sovereign identity and good name that are ongoing in Native nations today. This is not the first time we have asked for redress of grievance in this matter, with your help, we can amplify our voices. 

 

#NowYouKnow Help us #NametheChange by signing our petition and learn about the impact of "dirty" to First Nations.

 

To non-Natives who really want to honor Natives: invite tribal members and leaders to your events, listen to them about honoring the land you ride on, clean up your trash, support them, and don’t appropriate their cultures. If you appreciate Native cultures, center their voices in acknowledging the lands you recreate on. Learn about the tribe whose land you now live on. Work to make the daily exclusion of the original stewards of your community not normal. Work to bring their representation in outdoor and cycling media. We’re here and waiting for you to join us.