Krewe apologizes for offensive titles

Published 6:00 am Sunday, January 14, 2007

In response to a letter you published titled “Indian Krewe is offensive in nature,” the Krewe of the Natchez Indians would like to offer this response:

First, we apologize for the use of “Squaw” and “Witch Doctor” in our initial description of the members in a publication of this paper. It has been noted that some have found the use of such words to be offensive, and in hindsight, greater consideration should have been give to the use of those words.

Prior to inserting those words in the biographical information of members, they were researched and defined in an edition of Webster’s dictionary that did not describe the use of those words as being offensive.

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After reviewing the letter published in Jan. 10 opinion section of this paper, a more in-depth research of the word revealed that such use of the word “Squaw” could be viewed as offensive.

As a remedy to this issue, the members of the Krewe of the Natchez Indians will revise the name identifying female members of our group to names prevalent to the actual Natchez Indian Tribe.

Also, with respect to “Witch Doctor,” we will change the name to Healer. Although the author of the Jan. 10 letter suggested “Medicine Man,” our research revealed that such a person or being is defined as a sorcerer or Shaman, which is deemed offensive as well.

Second, the purpose and intent of using the name Krewe of the Natchez Indians is not to make a mockery of the tribe from which our city is named, but to bring awareness to the fact that during the time of slavery, the Natchez Indians Tribe gave slaves assistance and refuge from those who championed slavery.

Clarence J. Robson Sr.

Natchez resident