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Less of the white man in a loincloth, please | Letter


Keep it in the Ground has offered excellent news coverage of indigenous communities in Canada and Australia confronting climate change – but Lachlan Mackinnon’s poem (5 June) ends with a tired Last of the Mohicans vision of a white man appropriating “loincloths”. Could I suggest that, to balance out this primitivist misrepresentation, Carol Ann Duffy approach one of the many excellent Native American poets of California, such as Chumash/Esselen poet and eco-activist Deborah Miranda, for a poem about and embedded in living communities and ecologies, accompanied by an article by or about leading Ojibwe environmental activist Winona LaDuke, who will be in the UK this month as part of the Origins festival. After three years of the Idle No More movement, the Guardian needs to do more to recognise the continuing presence and leadership of indigenous communities in the struggle for the living world.
Dr Sophie Mayer
Lecturer in film studies, London

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