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Donald Trump, Pocahontas and the Cree woman who stood up and spoke out

In the race for the U.S. presidency - a certain candidate has been making fun of his rival by calling her Pocahontas. Cree reporter Nicole Roberston isn't laughing. Find out what she said when she came face to face with The Donald.

The Cree woman who stood up and spoke out

6 years ago
Duration 1:15
Before a rally in Bismarck, N.D., Donald Trump was speaking to the media. When asked a question about U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who identifies as part Native American, Trump responded by referring to Warren as "Pocahontas". Media consultant Nicole Robertson, a Cree woman based in Calgary, was the only person in the audience to challenge him. 1:15

Before a rally in Bismarck, N.D., Donald Trump was speaking to the media. When asked a question about U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who identifies as part Native American, Trump responded by referring to Warren as "Pocahontas".

Media consultant Nicole Robertson, a Cree woman based in Calgary, was the only person in the audience to challenge him.

Pocahontas is well known as one of the Disney princesses. The animated tale of her life portrays her saving the life of Englishman John Smith. In reality, she died in 1617 after being taken to England.  

The problem with Pocahontas

Charges of whitewashing the colonial history of the United States are common. But there is also an issue with how Pocahontas is represented. 

"Historically, that name has been used in a very sexualized manner," Robertson said. 

Given the rates of violence against Indigenous women, throwing the name Pocahontas out in a dismissive manner didn't sit well with Robertson. And while she is happy she spoke out, looking back, she wishes she'd done more. 

"I should have called it for what it was — racist."

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