I just came across this quote on a blog and thought I should repost it. It focuses on this idea of 'erasing the Indian' - that basically others have appropriated the image of the Indian to a dangerous degree. This is why Native American designers are so important:
Some makers and wearers see Native-made fashion as clothing of resistance – they deconstruct and discredit stereotypes, offer alternative forms of performing gender and expressing beauty, and promote resistance in the form of active presence. This type of presence is critically important because most Americans attribute Native ‘authenticity’ to stereotypes they themselves have created, leaving no space for the existence of contemporary Native identities.
"The worst of it? I AM CALLED A HIPSTER! Because of so much intersectionality (queer, POC, activist, poor, etc), and because I can actually smoke a catlinite/pipestone pipe correctly, have worn a feather and have stretched ear lobes. So instead of being called 'Native American', I am now being called 'Hipster', instead. So not only are hipsters appropriating, but they seem to be causing this WEIRD ERASURE OF IDENTITY by absorbing these once 'native identifiers' as somehow 'hipster identifiers'."
- Found on Womanist Musings