American Indian Sports Team Mascots

NFL team stripped of trademarks for ‘disparaging’ name
See continuing updates below

Change the Mascot is a national campaign to end the use of the racial slur "redsk*ns" as the mascot and name of the NFL team in Washington, D.C.  Launched by the Oneida Indian Nation, the campaign calls upon the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell to do the right thing and bring an end to the use of the racial epithet

>>> Change the Mascot  <<<

Complete Text United States Commission on Civil Rights  Position Statement on the
Use of Native American Images and Nicknames as Sports Symbols
Summary of the American Psychological Association  Resolution Recommending Retirement of American Indian Mascots
National Congress  of American Indians Position Statement  
"Ending the Legacy of Racism in Sports & the Era of Harmful 'Indian' Sports Mascots
The NCAI is the largest, oldest, and most representative of all American Indian advocacy organizations || "Proud to Be"  2 minute NCAI video about American Indians and "Redskins"
United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. (USET)  resolution calling on the National Football League to end the use of the Washington, D.C.  racially offensive slur team name.   USET

Inter-Tribal mascot resolution by the Seminole, Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Muskogee Nations  "representing over 400,000 people throughout the United States"

Resolution by the American Counseling Association calling for the elimination of stereotypic American Indian imagery Council of the American Sociological Association Statement  on Discontinuing the Use of Native American Nicknames, Logos and Mascots in Sport
National Indian Education Association resolution calling "for the immediate elimination of race-based Indian logos, mascots, and names from educational institutions throughout the Nation."

World Wide Web Exclusive!! 
 
Of Polls and Race Prejudice: Sports Illustrated "Errant 'Indian Wars'" also see
11 Reasons to Ignore the 10-Year-Old Annenberg Survey 
About the Washington Football Team’s Offensive Name
   (Pub. Feb. 2014)

Educators' Resources
Scholarly articles, resolutions, 
school related material
Dozens of Resolutions and 
More Educator Resources
Psychological aspects 
A summary of some primary psychological issues related to the use of "Indian" sports team tokens
Frequently Asked Questions 
"There is today no single word more offensive to Indian people then the term "redskins," a racial epithet..."     Vine Deloria Jr. 

 

"Offensive Slang: Used as a disparaging term for a Native American"  

"dated:  offensive an American Indian" 

Slang: "Often Disparaging and Offensive"     

Yahoo Education  

Oxford Dictionaries    Dictionary.com  
"An American Indian: now considered by many to be an offensive term" 

"Offensive Slang:  "Used as a disparaging term for a Native American"

"usually offensive"   

Your Dictionary   

 The Free Dictionary

 Mirriam-Webster

How Hollywood stereotyped the Native Americans

Subscribe to SayNOtoMascots

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Oklahoma  Anti-Discriminatory  Mascot Act 

From Disney's 1953 Children's Cartoon Movie "Peter Pan"  "What Makes the Redman Red"   AND   Eight Videos About Native Mascots, From the Academic to Will Ferrell

Bing Search for Recent American Indian Sports Team Mascots Related 
News Articles

>>> Redsk*n Article Archives from <<<
>>> Indian Country Today <<<

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Washington NFL team's 
"Lone Star Dietz" was  a fraud

Team's first owner, George Preston Marshall, was an unabashed racist and proud segregationist whose change of team name has earned him the label of "the most notable and influential racist in NFL history."

Timeline: A Century of Racist Sports Team Names

Salon - Sept. 2013 - Nothing scarier than a nervous white man: The “Redsk*ns” debate is really about white privilege  The debate about the Washington Redsk*ns name is all wrong: It's really a symbol of white fear in a changing nation

Google Search for Recent American 
Indian Sports Team Mascots Related 
News Articles

Oct. 2013 - Oneida Sponsored 30-Page Study Yields Scientific Evidence Showing "Indian" mascots Harm Native Americans

06/04/14 - Survey Shows 67 Percent of Native Americans Say ‘Redskins’ Is Offensive      Washington, D.C./National
The survey's findings from The Center for Indigenous Peoples Studies at California State University, San Bernardino

                                                               Oct. 2013 Washington, D.C. Poll Results 
* 59% Agreed that if referred to as a "redsk*n" a Native American person has the right to feel offended.
* 55% Stated that as a fan  it would not make any difference to them if the Washington NFL team changed its name.
* 58% Stated they would feel comfortable if  the Washington NFL team changed its name.


In a 2001 survey by Indian Country Today, 81 percent of respondents indicated use of American Indian names, symbols and mascots are predominantly offensive and deeply disparaging to Native Americans.

Dear Dan Snyder,  Bruce Allen, Roger Goodell, NFL, MLB, and all relevant others large and small:   

        So-called "good" intentions or "context" do not matter one bit when the final outcomes arising from the institutionalized, race-related practices you clearly endorse and promote have negative impacts on real, living American Indian people, especially children, adolescents and teens.  

        It is one thing to claim innocent ignorance concerning such things.   It is quite another to continue the practices after having been told for years by many highly respected American Indian, civil rights, religious, and education organizations about the problems such actions, and by extension, you now personally cause.    The damaging practices have therefore become willful on your part and no amount of denials, public relations gimmicks, cherry picking, high-priced lawyers or slick rationalizations can change that.     Such tangible actions speak much louder than hollow, even if genuinely well-meaning words about "tradition" and "showing respect."   How can you be "honoring" someone when they are telling you that what you're doing is hurtful to them?  

        The long overdue time has come to do the right and honorable thing.   Stop stereotyping,  dehumanizing, and exploiting American Indian people for your sports entertainment, self-inflation, and financial gain.  Stop bringing shame on yourselves, your leagues, teams, schools, communities, and our nation.   The embarrassment and humiliation you cause yourselves will only increase and get worse the longer you delay.   Time is not your ally but rather something that works against you.

        Get on the right side of history.   Embrace progress.    Promote justice and unity.   American Indian people past and present are not mascots for big business or fun and games.      Retire your outdated, harmful, race-related practices now!

>>> NEWS <<<

Belmont student activists to discuss 'Red Raiders' issue with school board Tuesday - See more at: http://www.newhampshire.com/article/20140524/NEWS04/140529423#sthash.srZcTBfH.dpuf
Belmont student activists to discuss 'Red Raiders' issue with school board Tuesday - See more at: http://www.newhampshire.com/article/20140524/NEWS04/140529423#sthash.srZcTBfH.dpuf
Belmont student activists to discuss 'Red Raiders' issue with school board Tuesday - See more at: http://www.newhampshire.com/article/20140524/NEWS04/140529423#sthash.srZcTBfH.dpuf

 

07/31/14 - Fact checking the new Web site, ‘RedskinsFacts.com        Washington/National
Washington Post gives Washington NFL team's propaganda website next to lowest rating for truthfulness
07/31/14 - New 'Redskins Facts' "fan site" has factual questions, possible Redskins ties       Washington/National

07/29/14 - Who’s Behind the New Washington Football Team Website?        Washington/National

07/28/14 - Redskins name gets even harder for Daniel Snyder to defend      Washington/National
Editorial from the Washington Post

07/28/14 - Letter to Dan Snyder takes issue with Redskins message      Washington/National

07/24/14 - Ted Nugent calls Wisconsin residents trying to cancel his show 'unclean vermin'      Wisconsin/National

07/24/14 - Racist Rocker Ted Nugent Dumped Yet Again by an American Indian Casino      Washington/National

07/21/14 - Idaho Indian Tribe Drops Ted Nugent Citing Rocker’s Racist Legacy        Idaho/National

07/22/14 - How Washington's Football Team Creates A Hostile Environment For Native American Students         Washington, D.C./National 
07/22/14 - View and download complete report on hurtful impacts of "Indian" mascots on Native children by visiting:  Missing the Point    

07/18/14 - Washington NFL team tries to bribe American Indian tribe with a skate park     California/Washington, D.C./National
California tribe tells NFL team "we know bribe money when we see it." 

07/16/14 - Phoenix streets using 'Squaw' in name might be changed    Arizona
Streets near Piestewa Peak, named in honor of Lori Piestewa, the first known American Indian woman to die in combat with the U.S. military, still use term demeaning Native women

07/15/14 - Native Americans urge Redskin name change       Oklahoma/Washington, D.C./National 

07/15/14 - Federal judge won't use 'Redskins' in court, documents         Washington, D.C./National 

07/15/14 - Activist shareholders denied vote on FedEx's association with Washington Redskins         Washington, D.C./National 

07/14/14 - Former Washington, DC, NFL Player, Now Football Coach at Howard University, OK with Changing Team's Name    Washington, D.C./National
"At the end of the day, it’s just a name....The name isn’t going to change loyalty, so why does it matter so much?   Just make the change"  - Fred Dean

07/10/14 - Baseball Game Incident has Giants Considering Ban on Fake Headdresses         California//Washington, D.C./National 

07/10/14 - Time for the Redskins to get more offensive         Washington, D.C./National 

07/09/14 - Washington Redskins Controversy Reignites Call for Native American Treaty Reform         New York/Washington, D.C./National 

07/09/14 - Redskins name is civil and human rights issue         Washington, D.C./National 

07/08-14 - Ben Tribbett’s Hypocrisy and Resignation         Washington, D.C./National 
07/08/14 - Blogger who was hired to defend Redskins tweets his resignation   
     Washington, D.C./National 

07/06/14 - Washington’s blogger-turned-lobbyist faces scrutiny         Washington, D.C./National 
The latest blunder by a franchise that has authored over the last year and a half an excellent case study on how not to handle P.R. problems

07/03/14 - Ramsey: Gold medalist Billy Mills opposes racist Redskins moniker     Colorado/Washington, D.C./National
07/03/14 -
KU track great Billy Mills speaks out against Washington nickname     Kansas/Washington, D.C./National

07/02/14 - Can students be forced to use the “R” (as in “Redskin”) word?   Neshaminy School District, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
According to the U.S. Census, Bucks County, PA, is 90% white (compared to 83.5% white statewide) and has only .3% American Indian and Alaska Native alone

07/02/14 - 5 sports team name changes the Washington Redskins can learn from      Washington, D.C./National

07/02/14 - Can students be forced to use the “R” (as in “Redskin”) word?   Neshaminy School District, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
According to the U.S. Census, Bucks County, PA, is 90% white, non-Hispanic

07/02/14 - 5 sports team name changes the Washington Redskins can learn from      Washington, D.C./National 

06/30/14 - Neshaminy officials could use some schooling   Neshaminy School District, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Reader comments to this article are typical and perfectly illustrate ignorant, selfish, and hateful ethnocentric attitudes

06/30/14 - No more racist sports names       Tennessee/ Washington, D.C./National 

06/29/14 - Editorial: Connecticut schools should change offensive team names           Connecticut

06/28/14 - NFL's Redskins nickname has to go       Georgia, Washington, D.C./National 

06/27/14 - Neshaminy School Board: Student Paper Editors Can’t Ban "Redskins" Slur       Bucks County, Pennsylvania

06/27/14 - Western Canada high changes Redmen to Redhawks    Calgary, Canada

06/27/14 - The U.S. military’s racial slur of Native Americans       Washington, D.C./National 

06/27/14  - Team owners and fans: Mom says, just change the mascot names    Arizona/Washington, D.C./National 

06/27/14  - Hudson: A name change is long overdue     Massachusetts/Washington, D.C./National 

06/26/14 - Dan Snyder, you need to do this      Indiana/Washington, D.C./National 

06/26/14 - 'Redskins' trademark decision strikes chord with social work professor    New York/Washington, D.C./National 

06/26/14 - Hudson: When it comes to name, Redskins deserve a penalty      Massachusetts/Washington, D.C./National 

06/25/10 - Detroit News Bans Use Of ‘Redskins’ Team Name      Michigan/Washington, D.C./National 

06/25/14 - Native American group planning $9 billion lawsuit against the Cleveland "Indians" MLB team    Cleveland, Ohio/National

06/25/14 - Woman behind fight against Washington’s NFL nickname says Chiefs should be on guard    Kansas/National

06/25/14 - Time has come to eliminate racial slur in NFL team’s name      Canada/Washington, D.C./National 

06/25/14 - What’s in a name?      Canada/Washington, D.C./National 

06/25/14 - Neshaminy Schools Close to Banning Students’ “Redskins” Ban   Bucks County, Pennsylvania
"makes the Neshaminy school board a fine defender of the term “Redskins” while being a lousy educator."

06/25/14 - Merlene Davis: American Indian racial slurs are never a 'badge of honor'      Kentucky/Washington, D.C./National 

06/24/14 - Activist group targets FedEx over Washington NFL team name       Washington, D.C./National 

06/24/14 - OUR VIEW: Let's leave history in the past      New York/Washington, D.C./National

06/24/14 - Redskins’ Is Bad Business        Washington, D.C./National 

06/24/14 - Gene Collier: Everything ‘Redskins’ must go   Pennsylvania/ Washington, D.C./National

06/23/14 - Native Groups Look to Retire the Cleveland Indians' Chief Wahoo     Cleveland, Ohio/ Washington, D.C./National

06/23/14 - Neshaminy school students in Bucks County, PA getting education in Orwell, "1984"      Pennsylvania

06/23/14 - When Slang Becomes a Slur        Washington, D.C./National                       
The linguist who testified against the Redskins in their trademark proceedings explains why the team's name can't be separated from historical hatreds

06/23/14 - Anthropologist: Offensive term should be banned for good      Washington, D.C./National

06/23/14- Editorial: Connecticut schools should change offensive team names   Connecticut

06/20/14 - Decades of use doesn’t change the fact that the name Redskins is a slur         New York/ Washington, D.C./National

06/20/14 - Lancaster In Research Phase of Name Change Discussions   New York

06/19/14 - Shareholders Say Washington DC NFL Team Name Presents Heightened Reputational Risks to Stadium Sponsor FedEx  Washington, D.C./National
FedEx Increasingly Embroiled in Ongoing Controversy over “Redskins” Name
06/19/14 - From Redskins to Redhawks: Why one Washington high school changed team name after 88 years
    State of Washington/ Washington, D.C./National
06/19/14 - Seattle Times: We won't use Redskins name in our newspaper
    State of Washington/ Washington, D.C./National
06/19/14 - Redskins: Univ. of Miami offers to help Washington NFL franchise with name change    Ohio/ Washington, D.C./National
06/19/14 - Redskins’ Trademark Loss Seen as Chance for New Brand
    Washington, D.C./National
06/19/14 - Redskin ruling brings back ULM mascot memories   Louisiana/ Washington, D.C./National

This past athletic season saw the biggest revenue so far, raking in $1.6 million — a big jump from the $640,445 in 2005-06, the final year of the former "Indians" nickname.
06/19/14 - The other benefit of rebranding:  potential to cash in on new merchandise     Washington, D.C./National
06/19/14 - Local Tribes Want Redskins to Change Name   Nevada/ Washington, D.C./National
06/19/14 -
Redskins Trademark Ruling Gives Goodell Way to Change Stance    Washington, D.C./National
06/19/14 - The question is not whether the football team will change its name, but when and how   Washington, D.C./National

06/19/14 - John McGrath: Dan Snyder’s take on Redskins’ name change is built on lies    Washington, D.C./National
06/19/14 - Editorial: Time to change name of D.C.'s football team    Colorado/ Washington, D.C./National
06/19/14 - Editorial: Time running out for 'Redskins' nickname
   Michigan/ Washington, D.C./National
06/19/14 -
Redskins Trademarks canceled, Wahoo should be next: Editorial cartoon   Ohio/ Washington, D.C./National

06/19/14 - Principal of Neshaminy public school using racist mascot confiscates student newspapers that refused to print racial slur     Bucks County, Pennsylvania

06/18/14 - Redskins' latest loss will only increase pressure    Washington, D.C./National
06/18/14 - A slur  by any  other name  is still a slur    Washington, D.C./National
06/18/14 -
Slurs Don’t Deserve Trademark Protection   Washington, D.C./National
06/18/14 - Board rules for dictionary over 'Redskins’ feeble attempts to defend team name    Washington, D.C./National
06/18/14 - U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration, says name is disparaging
    Washington, D.C./National
06/18/14 - Redskins nickname needs to go. Now!
    Washington, D.C./National
06/18/14 - Putting Washington's trademark to rest is a good start    Washington, D.C./National
06/18/14 - Full text of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decision
    Washington, D.C./National
06/18/14 - Change the Mascot Press Release on U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Decision
    Washington, D.C./National           
06/18/14 -
Time to retire Redskins, other Native American nicknames: Editorial    Washington, D.C./National
06/18/14 -
United Church of Christ Applauds U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Decision on Washington NFL Team Trademark     Washington, D.C./National
06/18/14 -
'Redskins' Running Out of Downs     Washington, D.C./National
06/18/14 - 'Redskins' Revoked a Second Time, but in a New Climate     Washington, D.C./National

Times have changed since the last time the team faced trademark trouble.

06/18/14 - Port Townsend school out ahead of Redskins debate    State of Washington, Washington, D.C./National

06/18/14 - Student journalists, administrators battle over use of 'Redskins' in high school publication  Bucks County, Pennsylvania
At Neshaminy High, student journalists, administrators clash over use of nickname. 
 

06/18/14 - The 450 Companies That Still Have Indian Mascots    Washington, D.C./National   

06/17/14 -Hampton Roads:  It's long past time for Washington's NFL team to hail a new nickname    Washington, D.C./National

06/17/14 - U.S. Sen. Harry Reid won’t attend Redskins games unless nickname changes     Washington, D.C./National

06/16/14 - Esquire: Sometimes There Are Easy Solutions. Just Change the Name of Your Football Team, Washington     Washington, D.C./National
There is an easy way out, here. For no real reason, Dan Snyder is ignoring it.

06/16/14 - Lingerie Football Team Revokes 'Redskins' Name   Washington, D.C./National

06/14/14 - Mid-Atlantic United Church of Christ leaders vote to boycott Redskins games and gear   Washington, D.C./National
06/14/14 - Church group latest to boycott Redskins over name
   Washington, D.C./National

06/10/14 - Anti-Redskins ad to air during NBA Finals   Washington, D.C./National
06/10/14 - Yocha Dehe Tribe to Air TV Ad Against R-dskins Name in Seven Major Markets During NBA Championship Game
   Washington, D.C./National

06/04/14 - Survey Shows 67 Percent of Native Americans Say ‘Redskins’ Is Offensive      Washington, D.C./National
The survey's findings from The Center for Indigenous Peoples Studies at California State University, San Bernardino

06/04/14 - Redskins ‘Legend’ Tre Johnson Takes Stance Against Team Name    Washington, D.C./National

06/04/14 - School mascots shouldn’t invoke racial stereotype    Maine
Nicknames should be labels of pride for all students

06/04/14 - Maine school mascots should avoid racial stereotypes    Maine
Even if meant to honor, nicknames that invoke Native Americans more often dehumanize.

06/03/14 - The Great Redskins Name Debate of….1972?    Washington, D.C./National

06/03/14 - Battle over Redskins is about more than political correctness    Washington, D.C./National

06/02/2014 - Who Owns the ‘Redskins’?      Washington, D.C./National

06/01/14 - The battle over the Redskins’ name is about the exploitation of a stereotype for profit    Washington, D.C./National

05/30/14 - Tribal leader turns down Redskins' invite   Nevada/Washington, D.C./National

05/28/14 - Full text of letter sent to all NFL players from the Oneida Indian Nation, the National Congress of American Indians, and 76 other Native American, civil rights, and religious organizations urging retirement of the racial slur used as a name by the Washington, D.C., team        Washington, D.C./National

05/28/14 - Another headache for Snyder: 1933 news article refutes cherished tale that Redskins were named to honor Indian coach   Washington, D.C./National

05/28/14 - ADL joins effort to protest ‘Redskins’ team name      Washington, D.C./National

05/28/14 - How will pending trademark ruling impact Redskins name?      Washington, D.C./National

05/28/14 - Belmont New Hampshire school board OKs its schools' continued use of stereotyped "Indian" nickname and logo   New Hampshire

05/27/14 - NFL players asked to support Redskins name change    Washington, D.C./National   
05/27/14 -
Numerous Organizations Ask NFL Players To Support Washington Football Team Name Change    Washington, D.C./National
Letter sent to all NFL players from the Oneida Indian Nation, the National Congress of American Indians, and 76 other Native American, civil rights, and religious organizations
05/27/14 - Press release from Change the Mascot announcing letter being sent to all NFL players    Washington, D.C./National

Cleveland, Ohio April 4, 2014 Nationally syndicated cartoon 2002

For many more news articles visit  the  Archives Section.



Click on image or follow this link to a collection of  American Indian sports team mascot related cartoons.

August 2000
Hank Aaron Steps Up to the Plate on the Use of Native American Names and Mascots in Sport

1937 - 1960
I
ndex of Animated Warner Brothers 
Cartoons
  Depicting "Indians"

For more resolutions and related information visit the Educators' and More Educators' Resources sections By exploiting and fueling a divisive controversy that Dartmouth College willfully helped to create, The Dartmouth Review  featured the above image and headline in its 11/28/06 edition.
The following categories provide useful information but are dormant and have not been kept current

Educators' Resources
Scholarly articles, resolutions, 
school related material

Psychological aspects 
A summary of some primary psychological issues related to the use of "Indian" sports team tokens

Archives
Past news articles, videos, books, etc.,

Chronology
Documenting many significant events over more than 30 year
Get Involved Now! Lists of "Indian" mascot users  
List of organizations  endorsing changes to "Indian" sports team, logos, mascots, nicknames, and symbols Trailblazers
List of schools and Others 
That Have Changed "Indian" Mascots
Related links
 Issue specific, American Indian, propaganda, and human rights
Site map
List of major headings and items found on this site
Action Alert   
Notices of events and activities
 


"...[M]ascot came into English as a borrowing of the French word mascotte, meaning ‘mascot, charm.’ The English word is first recorded in 1881 shortly after the French word, itself first recorded in 1867, was popularized by the opera La Mascotte, performed in December 1880. The French word in turn came from the Modern Provençal word mascoto, ‘piece of witchcraft, charm, amulet,’ a feminine diminutive of masco, ‘witch.’ This word can probably be traced back to Late Latin masca, ‘witch, specter.’ ...."
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition copyright 1992


Pulp fiction novel cover
Circa 1908

"I am not a sports team mascot. With all due respect to the teams who want to honor me by having a Native American mascot, it's outdated. It's the wrong way."
Billy Mills, Oglala Lakota
U.S. gold-medal winner in the 10,000 meters at the 1964 Olympics and inspirational spokesman  (2005)

"We simply chose an Indian as the emblem. We could have just as easily chosen any uncivilized animal."
Eighth Grade student writing about his school's mascot (1997)

"We don't view it as looking down on the race...We're not trying to make light of anyone or certainly not ridiculing anyone." 
Jim Arganbright
Athletic director at Coshocton H.S., Coshocton, Ohio (2003)
which uses an "Indian head" doormat to compliment its ethnic slur nickname.

In a survey by Indian Country Today, 81 percent of respondents indicated use of American Indian names, symbols and mascots are predominantly offensive and deeply disparaging to Native Americans. 

Pulp fiction novel cover - Circa 1908


"Cowboys finish off Redskins"

Headline from a 1998 
Washington Post sports article 

Pulp fiction novel cover
Circa 1908

"The ridicule, mockery and utter racism Native Americans are subject to because of the use of Indian mascots are intolerable."
Tex Hall, President (2003-2005)
National Congress of American Indians 

"The high school's mascot is a student dressed in a buckskin outfit who wears a mask with a big nose, large lips, large eyes, big cheeks and long, black hair." "If we thought it was offensive, we wouldn't do it."
Sam Cook, Principal 
Watkins Memorial H.S.
 Pataskala, Ohio (2003)

"People have a tendency to try to make us different. We're not. We're just like all other high school kids." 
 
Chris Dunshee, Principal
Red Lake High School
Red Lake, Minnesota, where a distraught 16 year-old American Indian student committed suicide after killing five of his peers and two adults. (2005)

Some "traditions" change.

Others do not.

slave

suffrage

illiniwek

redskins

Powerpoint presentation by Che Butler and Luhui Whitebear  created for the Oregon State Education Department  (Use keyboard arrows to navigate.  Press escape to exit)

 August 2005 -  Frequently asked questions about the institutionalized use of "Indian" sports team tokens

August 5, 2005 - NCAI Applauds NCAA Decision to Ban Use of Indian Mascots in Postseason Activities  
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is the oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian organization of its kind
Complete Text United States Commission on Civil Rights Position Statement on the Use of Native American Images and Nicknames as Sports Symbols
April 2005 - Illinois University's New Nickname - "The Losers"   It's Not Just About Sports
Sept. 2004 - Schwarzenneger OKs ethnic slur: Public schools rejoice
Aug. 2004 - Washington NFL team's "Indian" namesake a fraud
 

Stereotypic "Indian head" icons like this one are among the most common and may be thought of as symbolic war trophies.


"With the hope of capitalizing on Osceola's growing fame, Weedon had the corpse of the famed war leader beheaded and laid claim to many of Osceola's personal possessions and clothes. Osceola's head passed through several hands until 1843, when it came to Dr. Valentine Mott, who put it on display and later donated it to the Medical College of New York. It disappeared following a fire in 1865." *

                                   Donald L. Fixico
Seminole, Creek, Shawnee, Sac and Fox
 Western Michigan University

*  Despite this horrific history, FSU 
continues to use a mascot called 
"Chief Osceola."


College students perform the so-called, "tomahawk chop."  This aggressive gesture, simulating the use of a weapon, originated at Florida State University and is now also seen at other public school and  professional sports venues.  Its purpose is to intimidate opponents and cheer on the fans' teams.  The "tomahawk chop" is  typically accompanied by a sing-song, Hollywood style "war chant."

According to a published news account, over the course of the school's 154 year history only 3 members of the  Seminole Tribe have graduated from FSU.   

 Other revealing insights include: 

About 75 percent of the Seminole live in Oklahoma.

There are actually three Seminole tribes in Florida and only one tribal government - the one which uses the name "Seminole Tribe of Florida" - has formally signed on to the use of the mascot.

*  The June 2005  resolution passed by the solitary Seminole Tribe of Florida regarding FSU's mascot was done so at the request of FSU President T.K. Wetherell. 

Prior to getting the June 2005 Seminole tribal endorsement Florida State announced, along with a number of other incentives, the establishment of scholarships covering 80% of tuition costs for "Seminole Scholars" recruited from reservations.

*  The Florida State Legislature includes "'the Seminole Caucus' - an unofficial but influential group of about two dozen state lawmakers who are Florida State alumni or have ties to the school."

*  "And then there's the university's impact in Tallahassee. Hundreds of Florida government officials are Florida State graduates and supporters. We deal with  these people every day, working with them to clean up the Everglades, to improve the roads that lead to our reservations and to support the public schools that many of our children attend."     
Jim Shore, general counsel of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, excerpt from remarks in NY Times op-ed piece 8/27/05

*  "The NCAA position on the use of Native American mascots, names and imagery has not changed, and the NCAA remains committed to ensuring an atmosphere of respect and sensitivity for all who participate in and attend our championships."  NCAA statement associated with withdrawing FSU from post-season championship ban.

This photograph from the movie "Schindler's List" shows actor Ben Kingsley in the role of Itzhak Stern as he walks on gravestones used by Nazis for paving.  Tomb markers from Jewish graves were broken and used as paving stones at Gestapo headquarters.  Some authorities report that Hitler was strongly influenced by the manner in which American Indians had been dealt with and viewed by the U.S. government.




UND Merchandise Item - "Fighting Sioux" Doormat 

"Embedded in the granite floor inside the main entrance to Ralph Engelstad Arena, an enormous American Indian-head logo spreads like a welcome mat in front of the larger-than-life statue of Engelstad himself."   

A major donor to the University of North Dakota (UND), 
Engelstad was a collector of Nazi memorabilia
   

 

"... racial stereotypes are offensive, no matter what their origin....Images like these have no place in today’s world.” 

White House spokesman Scott McClellan responding to Mexico's use of  the Memin Pinguin character on a postage stamp (left), June 2005.  At right is the "Chief Wahoo" icon used by the Cleveland, Ohio, major league baseball team. 

 

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