Native Americans as Unwitting Spokespersons

Not sure how to sell your product? Slap an ‘Injun’ on it.

Using Native American likeness in advertising was a staple in the early to mid 1900’s. To judge people in the olden days on their ignorant ways is a slippery slope. Did they know better? Probably. The people that were being used and offended didn’t have the same voice they do now. So that didn’t help. Looking back through vintage advertisements will give you a quick glimpse into what was considered acceptable. In the politically correct world we live in now, not much of it would fly.

Cigarette smoking athletes, blackface characters and a whole lot of unsuspecting Native Americans who probably never even saw these interpretations

Meet the team of Wellington, Cranson & Trembly

The following cartoon is a semi sarcastic look at what I imagine a 1930’s or 40’s marketing meeting to look and sound like.

Below the cartoon is a photo album full of some examples of Native Americans used as spokesmen.

A History of Native Americans in Advertising

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