The council's committee of the whole voted 9-2 Thursday on the measure sponsored by lawmaker Joshua Lavar Butler. He says the word can have negative psychological effects on American Indians.
The statement of opposition also applies to what Butler says are disparaging references to American Indians in other professional sports franchises.
It does not apply to college or high school mascots. The mascot for at least one high school on the Navajo Nation is the Redskins.
By Gale Courey Toensing
A lot of support came from young urban Navajo citizens living off the reservation, Butler said. “These are young Navajos working, going to school, being professionals--I received a lot of praise from that sector. They really applauded this effort and are very happy,” he said.
The Navajo Nation is believed to be the first Original Nation to formally adopt a resolution opposing the offensive name. Butler said his staff had researched the issue, working with the Nation’s Washington office and could find no tribal council acting on it, only national organizations or individual advocates. He recommends that other nations follow the Navajo council model. “I’ve offered the Navajo Nation’s approved resolution as a template to present before their councils and get a stamp of approval from their governments as well,” Butler said.
Thursday's legislation marks the first time Navajo Nation officials have weighed in on the debate
By Noel Lyn Smith
The code talkers association was included in the bill after four members appeared at an NFL game between Washington and San Francisco in November. Some members have also met with executives from the Washington team.
Their appearance made some individuals in Indian Country think the Navajo Nation supports the use of such terms, Butler said in a previous interview.
After Speaker Pro Tem LoRenzo Bates certifies the bill, copies will be submitted to the National Congress of American Indians and to the Washington Redskins headquarters.
By Chris McKee
The Navajo Nation is the latest tribe to try to tackle the mascot controversy.
It’s a divisive topic in sports fandom. You either love the Washington Redskins name or hate it.
“It is offensive, very offensive,” said Chief George Tiger of the Muskogee Creek Nation.