Dear friends, supporters, and followers of the Indigenous Peoples Movement,
We recently became aware of a deeply unsettling portrayal that took place during the Fourth of July parade in Muscatine, Iowa. It is with heavy hearts that we express our profound disappointment and concern over the misrepresentation and distortion of the tragic story of Matoaka, also known as Pocahontas, who was a young Powhatan woman. She endured immeasurable pain and suffering at the hands of colonizers, and her story is one of the first documented cases of missing and murdered indigenous women.
Matoaka, often romanticized in popular culture as Pocahontas, was only 12 years old when she was captured, sexually assaulted, and eventually taken to England, where she tragically died. The painful history of her life is an unfortunate symbol of the systemic violence, discrimination, and injustices inflicted upon Indigenous peoples throughout history.
It is incumbent upon all of us to stand together and demand that Indigenous peoples’ histories and experiences are accurately represented and respected. We must continue the crucial work of dismantling harmful stereotypes, promoting education, and advocating for justice and equality for Indigenous peoples.
Thank you for standing with us.