no-redskins

This list represents American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, First Nations, and other Indigenous Peoples who believe that the name of the Washington DC football team is offensive and needs to change. For context, see this post: Who has spoken out against the Redsk*ns?

Many fans and media outlets refuse to believe that Native peoples are against the name–this running list is to prove them wrong.

Ready to lend your name to the fight? Sign up below. If you would like to share the form directly, use this link: Native Peoples against the Redsk*ns (click and then copy-paste the document address from your browser bar)

NOTE: Right now, this list is for Native peoples only. I may make an ally list in the future, but our voices as Indigenous Peoples are often silenced on this issue, so we need to be able to make our voices heard and have our own space to come together. This is not to be discriminatory or dismiss the important efforts of non-Natives toward the cause, I just need to be able to say that I have a list of X number of Native peoples. Thank you for your understanding!

Here is the running list, use the scroll bar on the right for fastest navigation to the bottom to see the current number. The names update real-time, but the number of signers does not (still working out the kinks…). I will update at least once a day to make sure it stays current!

5,000 names on 9/26/2014!

  • Jeff

    I am a focused Native American man who has more important things to worry about. For instance trying to keep my kids/family members educated on the effect of drugs and alcohol. How we are more susceptible to addiction. How we need to stay focussed on school and education to become a better people for our future. That our hungry and homeless need our help. That our traditions live on. That our prayers to the Lord aren’t always granted but they are heard and that God has a greater plan for us. That a football team with the name Redskins isn’t goin to define who or what we become. The football names are of the fiercest of what nature has to offer like the Bears the Lions and even the bravest of warriors the Redskins. I work in a field/line of work where maybe I just have a thicker skin that it doesn’t bother me but I truly have more important things to worry about. ..

    • Adrienne_K

      I have a hard time with that argument, and it’s one I hear all the time. We as Native peoples are multi-dimensional, and can care about and work toward multiple issues simultaneously. I deeply care about representations, but I also work in Native education, working with Native students and families applying to college. I don’t see them as mutually exclusive. It’s not one or the other. I also, everyday, work with Native students who have to face these issues on their college campuses–seeing non-Natives dressed as fake Indians, hearing others call Natives savages and redsk*ns, and have to deal with it without the support of their community around them.

      These images of mascots dehumanize us. It may seem like an “honor” or a compliment–but I personally don’t want to be seen on the same level as a Bear or a Lion. I want to be a contemporary, vibrant, real human being.

      Until the rest of society sees us as fully human, those other “more important” issues don’t exist in their minds. They only see us as a series of stereotypes that erase our contemporary existence. Unfortunately, these images DO define us to the majority of non-Natives.

      The psychological research also shows that these images negatively effect the self-worth, self-esteem, possible selves, and community worth of Native students. That matters. The research also shows that the images increase the self-esteem of white students. That means they are reinforcing power structures and white supremacy. Interestingly, the research also shows that the students who say they “don’t care” about mascots have even lower self-esteem after being shown mascot images than students who say the images are offensive.

      So it matters. And having other Natives dismiss the cause as unimportant when there are nearly 4000 other Indigenous peoples supporting the cause only undermines our efforts, and the media grabs onto the dissenters. Clearly many of us do care.

      I could easily delete your comment, but I feel like this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

      Wado,
      Adrienne

      • Jeff

        I do agree to a point but why this team? Why not the Atlanta Braves? Or Jeep Cherokee? Or the Fighting Irish or Minnesota Vikings? Look I’m not trying to be insensitive, I grew up poor in a very bad neighborhood and was ashamed but nothing to do with my skin color. I’m from the Northern Ponca tribe (Standing Bears tribe). I know our history and what he was hoping for to live amongst the whites without prejudice. I also know some people who blame a lot of their problems on the actions of others take responsibility for your actions. Like I said I grew up poor with a stereotypical alcoholic father and an absent mother. I joined a gang at a you age dealt drug ran the streets cause of my own lack of self worth. So yes I under stand, but I had to look at myself in the mirror of a jail cell before I realized, society didn’t make me do any of those things being a dumb nucklehead did. I raise my 3 sons with my wife by my side. They have no idea of what I dealt with as a young man. They don’t have too cause it only takes 1 person to break the cycle. I do understand why this group is here and I’m not actually opposed to what you are doing. I just think of all the bright people here with this much love for natives (Indians) and all of you passion and talents could be better served elsewhere was all. Also i wonder where do we stop do we change the names of city’s that are named after tribes and chiefs because the town is horrible and we don’t want or name associated with anything bad or degrading?

        • Kendra Aguilar

          Naming a street or town after a Tribe or Individual is an honor. Naming a mascot or sports team with a stereotype or racial slur is not. Nor are the actions of the “fans” and especially those from opposing teams. Have you not seen the fake head of an Indian man with a knife through it at the game? I have. Or seen the banners “kill the Indians”, etc? The young ones in our family have experienced the racism at their own schools. This is about protecting THEM. We have a LOT to teach non Natives about respect and the truth of our history. One huge step is this name change. It is a BEGINNING, not a solution. And we should never stop bringing honor to the sacrifices of our ancestors.

        • TheBoost

          Speaking as an Irish Person, we and our religion basically built Notre Dame. Lots of money and power. We love that nickname because it’s OURS. Last I checked, Native Americans don’t own or control any of the sports franchises or colleges that use those names. So I would rather not have Notre Dame’s beloved mascot tied in with discussions of cultural appropriation, because it’s not. It’s actually our culture.

    • Kendra Aguilar

      Please come tell my niece and nephew who face racism daily at their school that there are more important things to worry about. To them, teaching non Natives that we are honorable people who deserve respect and equal rights, that we are not “less than” is VERY important. It’s not just about a name. It’s about being seen, being heard and being treated as equal. And it is about protection. There will still be ignorance and racism and those who dance around in fake headdresses. We cant stop that completely, but we CAN teach people its wrong. And ask for true respect. Adrienne put it very well. We dont need this issue to divide us further. ALL Native issues are important and they are all connected, as we are. And we need to start acting that way.

    • Heidi

      This response (from Kerry Hawk Lessard) sums up why this issue is important:

      “The comments that have driven me to apoplexy are
      those suggesting we have “real” or “bigger” problems with which to
      contend. And it is that inequality that is the crux of the issue. As
      Native people, WE get to decide what is and is not “real” stuff. Every
      slur, every “get over it,” every “focus on real stuff,” and every
      dehumanization tells my children and all Native children that their
      self-worth is irrelevant when weighed against the prerogatives of a
      football team and people’s aggressive defense of a name we say hurts us.
      Native people have a sovereign right to say what is and is not harmful
      to us and if people actually honored THAT instead of feeding us bullshit
      that racism and insult is really honor, then perhaps we wouldn’t be
      having this conversation. But we are. Because they do.

      I feel the focus on “offense” is a distraction. This is about
      inequality, cultural appropriation, assimilation, and genocide. This is
      about power: who has it, who doesn’t. Non-natives have long assumed for
      themselves the right to determine Native identities, priorities, what
      should and should not offend us, and to act as the ultimate arbiter of
      who is or who is not sufficiently Indian and entitled to speak. This is a
      symptom of years of historic trauma that complicates the real lives of
      Native people, that informs the public on who and what we should be.
      This is about structural violence. This is about racism, and this is
      about injustice.

      And for the “part-Natives” I find it
      interesting that people use this fictional or fractional heritage to
      undermine the very people to whom they claim proud belonging. It’s all
      too convenient for Uncle Dan and the NFL to offer up Uncle Tomahawks or
      Cherokee Princesses to say what they want. It’s also greasy to offer
      blood money or try to make deals with deals with tribes that aren’t
      federally recognized (Potomac) and thus have unequal power. This is not
      how our tribes make decisions. There is no “Native American” to consent.
      We are over 500 sovereign nations. You can’t cherry pick a mouthpiece
      to parrot your narrative and think they have any legitimacy in Indian
      Country because they don’t.”

  • Rodney Michael Wright-Kenyon

    We need to teach “True” history and present day culture in the educational systems by Tribal people’s in each Tribal Region in the country to help lessen stereotypical thought of our people’s…

  • Nativegrl59

    Jeff, The Redskin’s mascot issue does matter and it affects our kid’s education deeply. Cultural biases that created the mascots also silence and erase our history through the erosion of our culture, values, identities, heritage and knowledge base in order to further the economic and political interests of the dominant culture (settler colonialism). Dismissive efforts to force assimilate us to the dominant ideation of what “Indian” is, contributes to the loss of the political and economic autonomy of our people. In other words, The dominant society want to own everything Indian to serve their own needs while increasing our dependency.