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Football team owner announces 'Original Americans Foundation'

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The owner of the Washington professional football team says the problems facing Indian Country demand "action, not words" and that's why he's won't be eliminating his controversial racist mascot.

Instead Dan Snyder is launching an "Original Americans Foundation" to help tribes address poverty, diabetes and other issues. He said he's already helped the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of South Dakota with coats and shoes for youth and the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska with a backhoe for burial ceremonies and water projects.

"These projects were the first of many and we currently have over forty additional projects currently in process," Snyder said in a letter on NFL.Com. "We look forward to telling you more about these as our work proceeds."

"For too long, the struggles of Native Americans have been ignored, unnoticed and unresolved," Snyder added. "As a team, we have honored them through our words and on the field, but now we will honor them through our actions. We commit to the tribes that we stand together with you, to help you build a brighter future for your communities."

Nearly every major tribal and Indian organization, plus dozens of tribes, have asked Snyder to eliminate the mascot. But none have sought financial assistance in exchange.

“It’s sort of an admission that he was losing the PR battle,” activist Suzan Shown Harjo, who has led the fight against the mascot for decades, told the Associated Press. “So now he’s gone out to find the real story — as if someone was hiding the real story about pressing needs in Indian Country.”

Get the Story:
Daniel Snyder starting Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation (The Washington Post 3/24)
Snyder: Redskins to assist Native Americans (AP 3/24)

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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)
Jacqueline Keeler: Peter MacDonald doesn't speak for Navajos (3/11)

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