Every inch of the land now known as the United States of America actually belongs to someone else. Some call them Native Americans. Others prefer American Indians, First Nations, Indigenous Americans, or use other monikers to describe the multitude of tribal identities that have been used, abused, a
Publish Date: Oct 07, 2021
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Every inch of the land now known as the United States of America actually belongs to someone else. Some call them Native Americans. Others prefer American Indians, First Nations, Indigenous Americans, or use other monikers to describe the multitude of tribal identities that have been used, abused, and exploited throughout the generations by (mostly) white imperialist settlers. But these invaders didn’t simply erase history—they repackaged it with a new narrative, one that leverages ancient connections between the earth and its peoples for advertising purposes. History teacher and beer historian Doug Hoverson unpacks this widespread practice and beer’s role in it for his latest piece for Good Beer Hunting, titled “Chiefs, Maidens, and Image-Making — A History of American Indians in Beer Advertising,” which was published on September 22, 2021. Here, Hoverson and I discuss how his historical expertise and Midwestern roots led him to explore this phenomenon, as well as how other industries—such as professional sports—have finally begun to address the problematic nature of Native caricatures in advertising and beyond. He describes how Prohibition spawned a new wave of strangely puritanical marketing and how his research ultimately led him to tackle this project. You’ll hear what lies we’ve been told not just through advertising, but through history itself, and how the inescapable snare of white supremacy continues to emphasize tradition over collective improvement. It’s a complex conversation around a complex topic. But history buffs, beer drinkers, advertisers, and all Americans can learn something about ourselves, our communities, and our current social situation by looking at the past with fresh eyes. Let’s look back together.