A Navajo artist from Albuquerque, New Mexico has a message for Donald Trump.
Creator of “Make America Native Again” hats Vanessa Bowen told ABC News that she created the hats to bring attention to the message behind Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.” Bowens also wants to raise awareness for marginalized and historically targeted indigenous peoples in America through satire.
“When Donald Trump says, ‘Make America Great Again,’ what time period is he talking about?” Bowen, who is 31, said. “A lot of people overlook that America’s history has been built upon injustice against other racial groups, including Native American people.”
Bowen says that “making America native again” means that the wider American culture learns about and respects Native American values and cultures. These have been largely disrespected and erased through centuries of European colonialism.
“It means going back to learning sustainability and learning to live in harmony with the environment,” she said. “It means going back to a matriarchal society in which we value and respect our women. It means going back to a sense of unity and community in which we nurture and care for each other rather than tear apart and divide each other.”
She also says that Donald Trump’s campaign is an attack on these traditionally Native American values.
While Bowen initially only made hats for her circle of friends, she has since received more orders and requests for hats from others in her community. Over 1000 of the hats have been sold so far.
The “Make America Native Again” hats are currently being sold for $30 on her website.
Bowen says that it is encouraging that her message is resonating with so many people. However, she has received some “hateful” online backlash containing “ignorant stereotypes about Native Americans.” One of Bowen’s main goals is to help open people up to the truths about her community so those stereotypes fade.
“I just want to spread more awareness about Native Americans and encourage more natives to write and tell our own stories so more people can know the truth and don’t have to rely on these false stereotypes,” She said.