Spanish Fork Press, July 22, 1909
many years there had been suspended from a smoke-stained
beam...a trophy of the early days he had spent on the shore of
the lake. It was an Indian's scalp."
"'You ask me why I keep that thing in the
house? When I first came here...I hadn't but one
white man for a neighbor and he lived two miles away...But I had
plenty of another kind. There were wild beasts and savages
on all sides, and there were times when they both gave me lots
of trouble. With the beasts I could get along
pretty well...But with the redskins it was different. It
wasn't no use to try and thin them out, although there was times
when I had to try my hand at it...You never could tell for a
certainty when they were friendly to you or when they were
waiting for a good chance to take your scalp....The redskin
looked as ugly as p'izen. "'White man let it alone or
Injun have his scalp' he cried, as he drew his
knife." 'You'll have to take it first, you thieving
redskin', said I." From the
Library of Congress - The
Spanish Fork Press, July 22, 1909
This 1909 story from Utah illustrates
how the dehumanizing ethnic slur exploited by the Washington,
D.C., NFL team was used in popular culture, the legacy
of which continues to this day. Besides being a form of symbolic slavery that allows users to
define, exploit, and manipulate concepts about both historic and living
Native Peoples, the institutionalized use of stereotypical "Indian"
sports team tokens may also be thought to serve as symbolic war
Text United States Commission on Civil Rights Position
Statement on the Use of Native American Images and Nicknames as Sports Symbols
of the American Psychological Association Resolution
of American Indian Mascots
Indians Position Statement -
the Legacy of Racism in Sports & the Era of Harmful
'Indian' Sports Mascots
largest, oldest, and most representative of all American
Indian advocacy organizations
|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
resolution by the Seminole, Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw,
and Muskogee Nations "representing
over 400,000 people throughout the United States"
by the American Counseling Association
calling for the elimination of stereotypic American Indian
of the American Sociological Association Statement
on Discontinuing the Use
of Native American Nicknames, Logos and Mascots in Sport
Indian Education Association
"for the immediate elimination
of race-based Indian logos, mascots, and names from
educational institutions throughout the Nation."
Wide Web Exclusive!!
Polls and Race Prejudice: Sports Illustrated "Errant
'Indian Wars'" also see
Annenberg Survey Designers Acknowledge Invalid Results
Reasons to Ignore the old 2004 Annenberg Survey
About the Washington Football Team’s Offensive Name
is today no single word more offensive to Indian people then the
term "redskins," a racial epithet..."
Vine Deloria Jr.
Oneida Sponsored 30-Page
Study Yields Scientific Evidence
Showing "Indian" mascots Harm Native
06/04/14 - Survey
Shows 67 Percent of Native Americans Say ‘
survey's findings from The Center for
Indigenous Peoples Studies at California State
University, San Bernardino
Oct. 2013 Washington, D.C. Poll
* 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
* 58% Stated they would feel comfortable if the
Washington NFL team changed its name.
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
schools in 18 states were once the
but now currently use another mascot. Capital
News Service fact‒checked data and found that
the Washington Redskins had overstated
the number of schools using the name."
Dan Snyder, Bruce Allen, Roger Goodell, NFL,
MLB, and all relevant others large and
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
The long overdue
time has come to do the right and honorable
thing. Stop stereotyping,
dehumanizing, and exploiting American Indian peoples 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
Get on the right side of history.
Embrace progress. Promote justice
and unity. American Indian
peoples past and present are not mascots for
big business or fun and
your outdated, harmful, race-related practices
April 4, 2014
syndicated cartoon 2002
The following categories provide useful
information but are dormant and have not been kept current
school related material
A summary of some primary
psychological issues related to the use of "Indian" sports team
Past news articles, videos,
Documenting many significant events over more
than 30 year
Involved Now! Lists of "Indian" mascot users
|List of organizations endorsing changes to "Indian"
sports team, logos, mascots, nicknames, and symbols
List of schools and Others
That Have Changed
Issue specific, American Indian, propaganda, and human
List of major headings and items found on this
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,
The American Heritage
Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition copyright
Pulp fiction novel
"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
winner in the 10,000 meters at the 1964 Olympics and inspirational
"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
"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."
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
Headline from a
Washington Post sports article
fiction novel cover
"The ridicule, mockery and
utter racism Native Americans are subject to because of the use of Indian
mascots are intolerable."
Tex Hall, President
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."
Watkins Memorial H.S.
"People have a tendency to
try to make us different. We're not. We're just like all other high school
Chris Dunshee, Principal
Red Lake High
Red Lake, Minnesota, where a distraught 16 year-old American
Indian student committed suicide after killing five of his peers and two
Others do not.
|Stereotypic "Indian head"
icons like this one are among the most common and may be thought
of as symbolic war
"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
Donald L. Fixico
Seminole, Creek, Shawnee, Sac and Fox
* Despite this horrific history,
continues to use a mascot called
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
* 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
* About 75 percent of the Seminole live in
* There are actually three Seminole tribes in
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.
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
* 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."
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
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
Hitler was strongly influenced by the manner in which American Indians
had been dealt with and viewed by the U.S.
UND Merchandise Item - "Fighting Sioux"
"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
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.”
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
American Indian Sports Team Mascots ©
1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011,
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017