Daughter of Oklahoma Governor Poses in Headdress

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown March 7th, 2014 Last Updated on: March 8th, 2014

Buzzfeed reports that the daughter of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin posted pictures of herself in a headdress on her Facebook and Instagram account. The pictures were supposed to be promotional material for her band Pink Pony. Buzzfeed captured some of the comments from Twitter users about the pictures.

Maybe she was confused and heard Indian band instead of Indie band.


After enough backlash, the band issued the usual sorry, not sorry apology.


“Please forgive us if we innocently adorn ourselves in your beautiful things. We do so with the deepest respect.”

Given her mother is Governor of a state with over a dozen tribes, you would think she would know better?

Home ยป Native American Articles ยป Native American Culture ยป Daughter of Oklahoma Governor Poses in Headdress

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
ona messenger

Ona Messenger
Its a picture, just simply that and nothing more. It was not done for the reasons you keep implying . I really claim no nationality , I’m of the world , a lover of all things and am tired of being picked and poked at for things that have passed by hundreds of years . I thank you , and may Grandfather protect you from those that would do you harm .

Catherine Todd

Jeanei, you make an excellent point! You wrote:

“You don’t see the Hawaiian to the Samoans culture forbidding others from wearing mumus or the hula outfit, you don’t see the Japanese forbidding others from wearing the kimono, they just stop and teach you how to do it properly!”

I’ve seen the same kind of “outrage” from African American people getting angry about “white women trying to take over their hairstyles.” Yet how many black women actually wear their own hair natural? Very few anymore. Most have “taken over” the smooth, long, straight locks of white women and none of the white women have cared.

So I don’t know why some people or cultures get upset and some don’t. I found forcing football teams to change their name to be pretty incredible. I can’t imagine being so touchy about my own Irish Hungarian heritage, even though my own immigrant great-grandparents came here and were told “No Irish need apply.” These signs were everywhere when Irish were looking for jobs. Then there was discrimination against their Catholic faith. They overcame this and one of them ended up the President of the United States.

So I don’t know what to think about all these complaints. I’m sure some of it must stem from feeling disrespected and cheated all these years, yet my Irish and Hungarian relatives just made do and lived their lives and eventually this discrimination passed. It might be that their discrimination was a lot less, or easier to hide, or something.

But you make very good points and I am glad to read your response. I was just about ready to quit reading this newsletter after seeing yet another person or group upset about what some “white person” is doing. I didn’t see anything wrong with the singing group’s response, either. So I must really be “out of the loop.”

And I appreciated what you said about “not to start a war.” I hope my comment doesn’t do that either.

Jeanel iolii Walker

I have a question? not to start a war but the headdress in question is pink died feathers you know full well just by looking at it its fake. I thought the Native Americans of the first Nation used real feathers. Am I wrong on this?
as for person and personality …I don’t know don’t care. what i do know is as an artist wanting to get my work out there. what better way to do so is to dress up in something confrontational and get everyone talking about it. You don’t see the Hawaiian to the Samoans culture forbidding others from wearing mumus or the hula outfit, you don’t see the Japanese forbidding others from wearing the kimono, they just stop and teach you how to do it properly! Somewhere back in my line i am native American but i can see now why my family was embarrassed to claim it. when i decided to try to learn some culture all i find is a lot of don’t don’t don’t…and no real teaching of who the people were and what they believe in.

Catherine Todd

As a “white” person whose great-grandfather came from Ireland during the great Potato Famine, I appreciated Lucinda’s comment very much, and I will use it to point out to the blacks here in the South where I unfortunately live now, that my ancestors were begrudged jobs with signs that said “No Irish Need Apply” and my father’s family that came from Hungary were all killed by the Nazis from Germany, and they weren’t even Jews… and they too were murdered and made into lampshades!

Racism and hatred runs deep and is part of the Human Race. I will have spent my entire life trying to overcome it in thought, word, deed and action. I hope others continue to do so, too.

I also appreciated some people pointing out that Native American Indians would do well to EDUCATE others about what is culturally appropriate. I had no idea that wearing this headdress could be deemed “offensive” after seeing it for sale for anyone to purchase, and people wearing it from young to old.

Please, let us know more about your culture and what you might find “offensive.” If we are not told or shown how are we to know? How are we to know that although it’s OK for anyone to wear headdresses in the movies and on Halloween, it is forbidden in a photo?

And I can assure you, wearing a “headdress” is nothing akin to wearing a “crown of thorns.” Jesus wearing a crown of thorns is a symbol of FORGIVENESS which brings about TRANSFORMATION and is the road to HEAVEN.

Dear God please show us THE WAY.

Gracias, Amen.

Chandra Leigh



I am Native from Oklahoma. When I look at this picture I see a woman who is envisioning the greatness and power of wearing a headdress and the feathers. The disrespect part is she is a woman first and we would not wear a headdress. Of course, the obvious, she is white but there are half-breeds who look white but are half bloods of Natives. And she is wearing the brightest red lipstick, which she should of put some war paint on her face and not her lips. I am optimistic and I am saying is wearing this headdress doesn’t make you a Native chief but giving props to the Native chiefs who wear them. She doesn’t know any better and if anything she is making a good picture for her art and including the Natives in doing so. Next time wear one feather and not so much lipstick!


I don’t think she meant disrespect. The picture was meant to be elegant, art. I see a lot of hate directed at Caucasians by many races because of what “we” did. My father came here at 16, earned his citizenship, learned English, and worked hard his entire life only have public assistance once for maybe 3 months when there was an issue at the factory where he worked. I however face disrespect by other races who take things out on me because I am white. Let’s see, if I did that to someone else it would be called racism. Why don’t people look at the PERSON rather than just getting overly offended? Maybe take the time to write more for the rest of to learn what it means to your culture rather than just bitching. This is the perfect opportunity to educate and have people see it, rather than whine and bitch. Seize the opportunity and stop judging all white people based on the past. Some of us had NOTHING to do with it!

Vance Hawkins

Gov. Fallin is a TERRIBLE governor. Even on a windy day, the pecan doesn’t fall far from the tree that produced it.

I remember my mother years back talking about my father’s family. She’d say, “Oh, those Hawkinses! They never forgive anything!” Hearing that made me try not to hold grudges.

So maybe the daughter will learn to be different from her mother. But maybe like most of us, she won’t learn anything at all.


Not willing any longer to give these spoiled rich white folks a pass…Cher, Christine falling Heidi Klum, Victoria’s Secret, Dan Snyder…enough…this picture shows nothing but disrespect. For those who say we Natve people need to stop getting upset. Wrong. Disrespect is what got us dead..

little Eagle, Cherokee

Cher is half Cherokee and knows a lot about our ways. She wore that headdress as a statement. Please know what you’re talking about before you speak

Free Email Series: What to Expect at Your First Pow Wow