Since its debut in 1971, an anti-pollution ad showing a man in Native American attire shed a single tear at the sight of smokestacks and litter taking over a once unblemished landscape has become an indelible piece of TV pop culture. It’s been referenced for decades on shows like “The Simpsons” and “South Park” and in internet memes. But the “Crying Indian” public service announcement has been painful for some Native Americans who saw it as a trope. That’s why Keep America Beautiful, the nonprofit that originally commissioned the advertisement, announced Thursday that ownership of the ad’s rights will be transferred to the National Congress of American Indians. NCAI plans to retire the use.
A Task force to strengthen Native families is ok’d by committee. A bill to set up a task force to study Indian Child Welfare in South Dakota has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee. Senate Bill 191 provides for 17 representatives from tribes and state agencies to hold at least eight meetings before November 2024. Their mission is to look for best practices in strengthening Native families so that children can remain in their homes. State Senator Red Dawn Foster told the House committee that Native people make up 12 percent of South Dakota’s population, but more than 60 percent of the children in custody of the state Department of Social Services (DSS). She said the task force will try to figure out what underlies that inequity and how to fix it. “Looking at and identifying root causes in where we can put the time [and] resources to address those, so that the children don’t end up in DSS,” she said. Foster said one key step is to address poverty wherever the child lives.
Those are your headlines at this hour. I’m Colette Keith in the KIPI News center.