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March 8, 2014

Governor’s daughter defends photo

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY —

The governor’s daughter, who is a marketing consultant for and appears in a local magazine called So6ix and is part of an electric-punk band called Pink Pony, has posted several photos in the past few weeks from events with her mother.

She was at the State of the State speech at the state capitol and posted photos from a trip to Washington, D.C. for the National Governor’s Association meeting.

The picture of her in the headdress quickly drew negative comments on Fallin’s social media profiles, many of which were deleted.

“To see someone from Oklahoma who should know about our history and the past — who, not only that, whose own mother is the governor — should know that’s just something you do not do,” said Louis Fowler, 35, who is Choctaw. “The fact that Christina Fallin even titled it ‘appropriate culturation’ means that she kind of knew what she was doing. There’s a big difference between doing it stupidly and doing it knowingly.”

Oklahoma ranks second in the nation in the total number of Native American residents, trailing California. But Native American culture is deeply embedded in the state’s history, politics and economy. The state flag includes Native American symbols and a warrior statue sits atop the Oklahoma capitol dome.

Fowler, a freelance journalist from Oklahoma City, said the headdress photograph is comparable to when Britain’s Prince Harry wore a Nazi uniform at a costume party, and noted other recent examples of businesses and people using Native American dress as a fashion statement.

Victoria’s Secret apologized in 2012 for putting a headdress on a model during its annual fashion show. Paul Frank Industries Inc. and the band No Doubt have also apologized after being criticized for using headdresses in clothing and parties, and in a cowboys-and-Indians-themed video, respectively.

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