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Blog: Native women leading battle against use of racist mascots

Filed Under: Opinion | Sports
More on: dc, football, mascots, racism, redskins, women
     


#Not4Sale: Native women like Jacqueline Keeler send a message to Dan Snyder. Photo from Twitter

She The People on the Native women who are leading the campaign against the continued use of racist mascots:
Amanda Blackhorse has seen plenty of Native American women take on struggles, starting with her paternal grandmother, or her nali’ in the Navajo language, who years ago resisted pushes from tribal and U.S. governments to move from her home on the Navajo Nation.

Now 32, a mother and social worker living in the reservation community of Kayenta, Ariz., Blackhorse is part of a different battle, the one to end the trademark protection of the Washington NFL team name. Back in 2006, she became the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit, the second of its kind, to challenge the trademark of the name on grounds that it’s disparaging toward Native Americans.

She’s heard the criticism that Native people should focus on more pressing matters in Indian Country, namely poverty, violence, health disparities and housing shortages. Some of those issues were referenced in a letter Washington team owner Daniel Snyder sent to fans last week in announcing his franchise’s Original Americans Foundation and the reasons for establishing it.

But the way Blackhorse sees it, the word “redskin” itself is part of the problem for many of the societal struggles in Native communities today, including low self-esteem among youth that contribute to high dropout and suicide rates and the way so many reservation issues continue to be marginalized or cast aside.

Get the Story:
Mary Hudetz / She The People: Why Native American women have been leaders in the fight against team mascots (The Washington Post 4/1)

An Opinion:
Ross Tucker: Redskins nickname issue too divisive for sudden change (Sporting News 4/1)

Related Stories:
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BIA acknowledges 'failed' contract with head of team's foundation (3/31)
Column: Omaha Tribe gets odd gift from Washington team owner (3/31)
Omaha Tribe: 'No strings attached' to donation from foundation (3/28)
Head of Original Americans Foundation tied to BIA misspending (3/28)
Gyasi Ross: Football team owner offers 'hush money' on mascot (3/28)
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Colbert Report: Washington team extends olive branch to tribes (3/27)
Opinion: About that letter from Washington football team owner (3/27)
Cherokee man serves as CEO of 'Original Americans Foundation' (3/26)
Column: Dan Snyder's new charity comes with strings attached (3/26)
Editorial: Helping Native people means changing racist mascot (3/26)
NCAI calls foundation a 'publicity stunt' by football team owner (3/25)
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NPR Ombudsman: Limit use of Washington football team name (03/21)
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DaShanne Stokes: Racist Americans cling to football mascot (3/17)
Navajo Nation leaders speak out against 'disparaging' mascots (3/14)
Bill in Maryland urges new name for Washington football team (3/12)
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