November 13, 2013

Oneida Indians thank Obama re "Redskins"

Oneida Indians thank Obama for comments on Redskins

By Erik BradyOneida Indian Nation representative Ray Halbritter, the public face of a campaign against the Washington pro football club's team name, thanked President Barack Obama for speaking out on the issue during a meeting at the White House Tuesday.

Halbritter's comments were met with applause from leaders of a dozen tribes who spoke with the president about a range of economic development issues important to Indian Country, from job creation to increased access to capital to jurisdictional challenges.
Below:  "Native American leaders on Tuesday presented President Obama with a jersey from Cooperstown (N.Y.) High School, which last year changed its mascot from Redskins to Hawkeyes. The Oneida Indians, who are leading a push to persuade the Washington NFL team to change its name from Redskins, had donated $10,000 to help cover the cost of new uniforms for the Cooperstown Hawkeyes." (Erik Brady/USA TODAY Sports)

Obama skirts 'Redskins' controversy at tribal conference

By Ben WolfgangAfter making waves last month by suggesting the Washington Redskins’ name may be offensive to Native Americans, President Obama avoided the issue entirely during a Wednesday speech to tribal leaders gathered in Washington.

In his brief remarks, the president instead touted his health care reform law, energy development on tribal lands and his administration’s efforts to reduce the above-average poverty rates seen in many tribal communities.

Mr. Obama also spoke in broad terms about the U.S. must continue to strengthen its bonds with Native Americans, stressing that they must have the same opportunities all other Americans enjoy.

“It falls to us to keep America the place where no matter where you come from, what you look like, you can always make it as long as you try as long as you work hard,” Mr. Obama said at the tribal conference, held at the Interior Department’s headquarters in Washington.
Hitting 'em where it hurts

Tribes want Congress to ban Redskins’ trademark

By Rob HotakainenWhile the controversy has smoldered for decades, getting rid of the team name has emerged as a top legislative priority for leaders of the nation’s 566 federally recognized tribes, who’ve asked for Obama’s help in getting Congress to intervene.

They want Congress to strip the Redskins of the team’s name trademark, hitting it in the wallet. That would prevent the team from holding exclusive rights to sell any shirts, caps or other merchandise that uses the “Redskins” name.

“The explicit support of President Obama and his administration would assist in this important effort,” the National Congress of American Indians said in a briefing book given to tribal leaders for Obama’s annual White House Tribal Nations Conference on Wednesday.

The tribes are pushing a bill called the Non-Disparagement of Native American Persons or Peoples in Trademark Registration Act of 2013, sponsored by Delegate Eni Faleomavaega, a Democrat from American Samoa, along with 19 co-sponsors. It would amend the Trademark Act of 1946 and wouldn’t permit any future trademarks that use the term. The bill has little chance of passing anytime soon, having been referred to a committee but not even receiving a hearing.

Congress Punts on Redskins Name

By Hannah HessCapitol Hill efforts to force Washington’s National Football League franchise to change its name remain stalled, even as President Barack Obama welcomes tribal leaders to the White House this week to launch the administration’s Council on Native American Affairs.

Democrats representing large swaths of the team’s fan base are split on whether Congress should use its power to force the franchise to change its name, which supporters say is not intended to denigrate anyone. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., has been leading the charge against the moniker, which she deems a “disparaging” ethnic slur, even voicing her opposition on ESPN. She and Maryland Rep. Donna Edwards, whose district is home to the team’s FedEx Field, both support a bill aimed at changing the 81-year-old name.
More calls for change

NAACP Calls on Washington Football Team to Change its Name

Association renews it request to replace offensive “Redskins” team nameThe NAACP has renewed its request for NFL owner Daniel Snyder to change the name of his team from the Washington “Redskins”. The NAACP has called for this change since 1992 when its national board of directors passed a resolution demanding all sports teams discontinue the use of teams names and mascots that stereotypes the American Indian people.

“For more than two decades, the NAACP has called for an end to the use of the racially-inflammatory name of the Washington Football Team, as well as other sports’ team names that degrade American Indians,” stated Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors. “This year we have joined with our friends in the American Indian community and are renewing our call for Washington’s football team to replace this offensive name.”

“It is disappointing that this derogatory moniker remains embedded in one of our nation’s premier sporting teams,” stated NAACP Interim President and CEO Lorraine C. Miller. “We stand alongside all American Indians who are calling for Washington owner Daniel Snyder to change his team’s name.”
Dakota Man Exposes Vile History of 'Redskins'

By Rachael Johnson“It was only five generations ago that a white man could get money for one of my grandfather’s scalps,” writes Dallas Goldtooth on a Facebook post. “At this time…it was “Redskin” that was used to describe us.”

To the left of Goldtooth’s words, a newspaper clipping from 1863 advertises a reward, “The State reward for dead Indians has been increased to $200 for every red-skin sent to Purgatory. This sum is more than the dead bodies of all the Indians east of the Red River are worth.”

Carbone: Washington Redskins’ Name Insults Every Native American

By Gerald CarboneIndian removal and African slavery are America’s twin holocausts. We prefer to forget these inconvenient truths of our history, to blot their stains from the historical record. We rewrite history in cultural touchstones that portray Indians as foolish savages or stealthy warriors like the one pictured on the Redskins logo. But in our willful ignorance of Indian history we overlook the great contributions the Americas have made to civilization.

Yes, some Indians made and make great warriors; they also were and are great farmers and civil engineers. Indians in the Americas developed 60 percent of crops now in cultivation: corn, potatoes, tomatoes, squashes, and beans. On the Mississippi River they built a city of 20,000 in 1200, 500 years before London reached that threshold.

As Americans we should honor, not obliterate, the history of our land and the shared histories of its people. Reducing people to a stereotype stamped onto a football helmet is not an honor; it is an insulting attempt by a dominant culture to redefine a diverse, accomplished people in order to white-wash an American Holocaust.

Indians and non-Indians, all of us as people, deserve better.

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