By Aurora Arop, Spring 2014 Leadership Conference Education Fund Intern
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) released a short video leading up to the Super Bowl to highlight ongoing efforts to change the name of the Washington, D.C. football team. The video – “Proud To Be” – depicts the diversity of Native peoples and reiterates the notion that using depictions of ‘Indians’ as mascots only serves to mock or stereotype – not honor – their cultures.
Think Progress also weighed in last week, running a detailed article titled “The Epic Battle to Save the Most Offensive Team Name in Professional Sports” – an in-depth look at the history of the name and the movement calling on the team’s owner, Daniel Snyder, to change it.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and its more than 200 coalition members voted unanimously at its annual meeting in December 2013 to pass a resolution urging Snyder to change the offensive name. The resolution notes that the term ‘redskin’ is historically derogatory and “cannot in any reasonable way be viewed as honoring the culture or historical legacy of any particular Native American tribe or individual.”
Ray Halbritter, representative of the Oneida Indian Nation who urged attendees of the annual meeting to adopt the resolution, said in a press statement: “… everyone has a right to live free from being a target of racial slurs. The fight to change Washington’s team name is a fight to finally say that in a 21st century America, we must value mutual respect and civility over subjugation and hostility.”
Check out NCAI’s video here:
For additional information about NCAI, please visit their website.