American Indian Sports Team Mascots

 

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"
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 Article

>>> 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 Article

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

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.

>>> NEWS <<<

04/16/14 - Study: Teams with Native American mascots end up losing millions   National

04/16/14 - Houston school district bans 'inflammatory' nicknames, including Redskins   Houston, Texas

04/15/14 - HISD reveals new mascots for four schools with Native American ones   Houston, Texas

04/15/14 - Ute Indian Tribe and University Of Utah Agree on Keeping "Ute" Name    Utah
"Other colleges have animals, but we have something special to Utah itself."

04/13/14 - Washington Redskins foundation loses another event sponsor    Arizona/ Washington, D.C./National
The Notah Begay III Foundation pulled its support from this weekend's Arizona golf tournament

04/12/14 - Washington Redskins name change: Native American group pulls sponsorship of charity golf tourney to protest Daniel Snyder foundation
Arizona/ Washington, D.C./National
04/12/14 - Redskins foundation golf event loses sponsor in protest    Arizona/ Washington, D.C./National
"The Native American Gaming Association, which is a non-profit organization that consists of 184 Indian nations as members, decided to withdraw from event sponsorship on Friday after learning that the Redskins foundation also was involved in the golf event."

04/11/14 - Navajo Nation Council opposes NFL team’s name      Arizona/ Washington, D.C./National
04/11/14 - Navajo Nation Council formally opposes Washington Redskins name     Arizona/ Washington, D.C./National

04/11/14 - UN Expert Weighs in on Redskins Controversy   Washington, D.C./National
04/11/14 -
UN rights expert calls for 'Washington Redskins' name change    Washington, D.C./National
04/11/14 - Oneida Indian Nation and National Congress of American Indians Applaud the UN for Condemning the Hurtful Name of Washington’s NFL Team    Washington, D.C./National

04/09/14 - Editorial: Time for Belmont’s Red Raiders to go     New Hampshire

04/09/14 - In Edgewood, an “American Genocide” Mural Takes Aim at the Pigskins   Washington, D.C./National

04/09/14 - Port Townsend students pick Red Hawks as high school's new mascot   Washington

04/09/14 - Sorority apologizes for banner at UND chapter   North Dakota

04/08/14 - An Editorial Cartoon on Native American Mascots Comes to Life in Cleveland  Ohio/National
AISTM.org was the first to recognize and make public the ironic similarity between the "Chief Wahoo" fan photo and 2002 editorial cartoon

04/08/14 - The Fading and Enduring Native American Imagery, Caricatures in Corporate America   National

04/04/14 -  Cleveland Indians fan in redface comes face to face with Native American protestor     Ohio/National
04/04/14 -  Here's A Sad Photo Of An Indians Fan In Redface And A Native American Protester     Ohio/National
04/04/14 -  Native Americans, others protest Cleveland Indians' Chief Wahoo logo     Ohio/National

Cleveland, Ohio April 4, 2014 Nationally syndicated cartoon 2002

04/04/14 -  The first project for Snyder’s foundation: Changing a name   Washington, D.C./National
Editorial by the president of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).   The NCAI is the largest, oldest and most representative American Indian advocacy organization of its kind.

04/01/14 -  Dan Snyder’s Anti-Public Relations and #CancelColbert   Washington, D.C./National

04/01/14 -  Cleveland Councilman Zack Reed says Chief Wahoo is the 'red Sambo,' calls for city to ban logo from public spaces (VIDEO)    Ohio

04/01/14 -  Demonstrators to target Chief Wahoo at Cleveland Indians home opener    Ohio

03/30/14 -  Hansen: Odd gift links Omaha Tribe to owner who won't give up 'Redskins'   Washington, D.C./National

03/30/14 -  Time to banish all Native American mascots, including Chief Wahoo: Cynthia Connolly    Ohio/National

03/28/14 -  Head of D.C. NFL team’s Native group lost federal contract over ‘unusable’ results   Washington, D.C./National 
03/28/14 - 
CEO Of Washington Football Team's New Foundation Allegedly Wasted Bureau of Indian Affairs Funds   Washington, D.C./National 
03/28/14 - 
Redskins foundation head drew criticism in I.G. report   Washington, D.C./National 
G
overnment received no benefit, wasted almost $1 million from contract to group headed by CEO of Washington NFL team's "Original Americans Foundation" (OAF)
03/28/14 -  From Philanthropy Today - Head of Redskins’ Native American Charity Drew U.S. Scrutiny   Washington, D.C./National
03/28/14 - 
Oneida Indian Nation Statement Regarding Revelations Surrounding the Washington NFL Team’s New Foundation   Washington, D.C./National
03/28/14 -  More Trouble for Dan Snyder’s Foundation  Washington, D.C./National
03/28/14 -  Did Dan Snyder Bother to Vet the Guy Running His New Foundation for Native Americans?    Washington, D.C./National
03/28/14 - 
CEO Of Redskins' Foundation Has History Of Swindling Native Americans   Washington, D.C./National

03/28/14 -  As stores rushed to stock UND merchandize with Fighting Sioux nickname, logo, UND royalties spiked   North Dakota 

03/26/14 -  A University Professor and member of the Comanche tribe, Dr. Cornel Pewewardy pushes to ban Indian mascots  National

03/25/14 - NCAI: True Support Of Indian Country Only Possible If DC Team Changes Name   Washington, D.C./National 
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is the largest, oldest, and most representative Native American Indian organization of its kind
03/25/14 - Oneida Indian Nation Statement Regarding Foundation Announcement by Washington NFL Team Owner Dan Snyder   Washington, D.C./National
03/25/14 - Bell: Daniel Snyder's charity misses the mark  
Washington, D.C./National
03/25/14 - Dan Snyder's Redskins Charity Is His Most Tone-Deaf Sideshow Yet  Washington, D.C./National
03/25/14 - Baffoe: Daniel Snyder Wrote Another Awful Letter   Washington, D.C./National

03/25/14 - Latest nickname outreach is a step, but without a direction   Washington, D.C./National
03/25/14 - Dan Snyder Can’t Bribe Dictionaries When it Comes to Racial Slur Name of His Football Team   Washington, D.C./National
03/25/14 - Here, Take This Coat   Washington, D.C./National
Washington owner Dan Snyder’s cynical new effort to squelch the controversy over his racist team name.
03/25/14 - Co-chair of Congress' Native American Caucus says Snyder's 'scheme' no substitute for changing Redskins' name   Washington, D.C./National
03/25/14 - Congresswoman McCollum's response  to Continued Use of Racist Native American Mascot By NFL Owner Dan Snyder

03/25/14 - Professor affirms effects of Indian mascots  National

03/21/14 - Loss of Trademark Would Be Final Straw for Washington Redskins' Name   Washington, D.C./National

03/19/14 - Ethics, Morality And A Ticking Clock For How To Report On The R**skins   Washington, D.C./National

03/19/14 - U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reject another product with “Redskin” in the name  Washington, D.C./National

03/16/14 - At Onondaga, spiritual leader of the Six Nations agrees: Time for Washington to retire 'Redskins'   New York/Washington, D.C./National

03/16/14 - Schools,Tribes Take Closer Look at Native American Depictions  Idaho

03/15/14 - Native American leaders, allies protest race-based mascots  Wisconsin

03/15/14 - Navajo lawmaker’s bill opposes NFL mascot  Arizona/Washington, D.C./National

03/11/14 - Maryland delegates propose resolution urging Redskins to change team name  Maryland/Washington, D.C./National

03/11/14 - Pelosi: Trademark office should reject Redskins team name  Washington, D.C./National

03/11/14 - Native American Groups Renew Push To Change Redskins Name  Maryland/Washington, D.C./National

03/11/14 - Resolution and legislation ask Navajo Nation council to oppose offensive sports names   Arizona/Kansas/Washington, D.C./National
Resolution and Draft Legislation

03/11/14 - Only 3 Maine schools still have Indian nicknames; tribal leader praises effort to eliminate them   Maine

03/06/14 - Gov. John Kitzhaber signs tribal mascot bill  Oregon

03/01/14 - Churches propose a boycott of Redskins unless the team changes its name  Washington, D.C./National

02/28/14 - The Newspaper that Invented the Cleveland Indians' Name Comes Out Against the Logo   Ohio
02/28/14 - The Tribe should retire Chief Wahoo once and for all: editorial  Ohio
03/30/12 - Chief Wahoo Through History - A Slideshow Documenting Chief Wahoo With Images and Text   Ohio 

02/28/14 - Mercury News editorial: NFL should start promoting racial tolerance by dropping pejorative nickname    Washington, D.C./National

02/27/14 - Native American Mascots Head to Governor  Oregon
02/27/14 - Bill allowing Native American mascots in Oregon headed to governor's desk  Oregon

02/23/14 - Idaho Native Americans blast ‘offensive’ school mascots  Idaho
02/23/14 - Native Americans Bring Mascot Debate to Idaho Statehouse   Idaho

02/20/14 - Redskins or a new team name? Democrats running for governor in Maryland weigh in.  Maryland/Washington, D.C./National

02/11/14 -Lawmakers step into Redskins name fray  Washington, D.C./National 
Owner Daniel Snyder has vowed to keep the team name
02/11/14 - Sen. Cantwell’s push to force NFL to rename Redskins is right  State of Washington/Washington, D.C./National
The term ‘Redskins’ is used in a disparaging way and its continued use is offensive
02/11/14 - Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole wants NFL's Redskins to change team name   Oklahoma/Washington, D.C./National

02/11/14 -  11 Reasons to Ignore the 10-Year-Old Annenberg Survey About the Washington Football Team’s Offensive Name  Washington, D.C./National

02/11/14 -  Native American mascots in Oregon: supporters have two days to broker deal with Gov. John Kitzhaber  Oregon

02/11/14 -  Wisconsin Indian Education Association asks schools to drop nicknames, mascots  Wisconsin

02/07/14 - Del. Wilson legislation urges Redskins name change  Maryland/Washington, D.C./National 
Resolution calls current NFL team name ‘disparaging’

02/02/14 - Goodell Defends R-Word in Pre-Super Bowl Press Conference  Washington, D.C./National 

02/01/14 - Redskins honor Native Americans? How can this sorry franchise honor anyone?  Washington, D.C./National 

For older 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. 

 

American Indian Sports Team Mascots © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
All rights reserved.