Richard Nixon: Our First Native American President

Categories: Politics
Bill Clinton may have been the first African American president (sorry, Barry), but Richard Nixon is being hailed as the first Native American president.

Of course, it's the Nixon Foundation that's doing the hailing for Orange County's favorite disgraced son.

This headline is over a Nixon Foundation item on the Dick booster group and the National Archives having presented a May 23 Nixon Legacy Forum at Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma: "RN: The First Native American President."

There's no evidence anyone has actually said that--although we bet Elizabeth Warren was thinking it--but American Indian leaders were reportedly present to laud Nixon the president for having reversed two centuries of mistreatment against America's tribal nations. This was encapsulated in a July 1970 message about self-determination.

"President Nixon got it right," Walter Echo-Hawk, a University of Tulsa law professor and Pawnee Nation Supreme Court justice, is quoted as saying at the event. "The creation of that policy in 1970 was a historic moment."

As far as Echo-Hawk is concerned, that moment rivaled "in importance the civil rights movement, the environmental movement, and the women's movement in American history."

The question now, besides where to put the presidential teepee at the Yorba Linda Dickland, is what Nixon's Indian name would have been. Chief Stubbly Face? Chief Slopey Nose. Chief Forked Tongue?

Strangely, in announcing Nixon as the nation's first Indian president, 18 1/2 minutes of smoke signals were missing.

Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
Soho_d J
Soho_d J

Another asshole comment you must be proud of yourself.

Matthew T. Coker
Matthew T. Coker

Thanks for sharing, Turtle Heart. He did treat the U.S. Constitution like a member of a sovereign nation.

Turtle Heart
Turtle Heart

Thanks for the 18 and one half joke. Very funny. As the Warren phony outrage shows, the MSM has never cared to report on American Indian issues in a meaningful or even respectful way. It is charming that you so well illustrate this idea with your clueless commentary. Nixon was the only US PResident in modern times to make some effort in real time, by doing real things, to help American Indians. Obama has done things, but they are cosmetic, meaningless things. Nixon is the only US President that was given a long ceremonial drumming at his wake by American Indians from all over the USA. They drummed his tortured spirit to the other side for 24 hours. I doubt anything so profound and beautiful will happen when you pass away. American Indians yet retain a dignity and a sense of humor, so we expect nothing less from your media than what you offered here. When Nixon met with some of the old American Indians in the oval office years ago, he wept. That is a power their presence has that you will not find in your jokes or in your surprise.

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault