Following on a landmark few days in Indian Country, in a significant move today, Washington’s Football Team announced this morning that they will be retiring their nickname and logo after the “thorough review of the team’s name” that began on July 3rd. The move was announced in a short statement on the team’s website that noted team owner Dan Snyder and Head Coach Ron Rivera are working closely to develop a new name.
Meanwhile, Atlanta’s baseball team sent out an email to season-ticket holders yesterday stating once again that they will not be changing their name, but they will take a look at the future of their “tomahawk chop.” While Chicago’s hockey team has stated they are not considering a name change, WBEZ-NPR Chicago published an argument for changing the name, saying the city is “blinded by fandom.”
In Oklahoma City, the Society to Protect Indigenous Rights & Indigenous Treaties held a rally at a monument commemorating an 1889 land run calling for additional Native representation. Hundreds of Indigenous activists and supporters were met by a few dozen armed counter-protesters, and police had to step in to diffuse the situation during remarks from a local Black Lives Matter leader. Otherwise the event was peaceful.
Last week Representative Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) introduced bipartisan legislation that would extend the coverage for payments allocated under the CARES Act for two years, extending the deadline for tribes to spend the funds.
“We need to extend the deadline by which tribal governments must spend Coronavirus Relief Fund payments so that each nation has adequate time to debate and discuss within their governing bodies, just as we did, and allocate the monies they are owed to most effectively address this pandemic head-on,” O’Halleran said.
Despite the state of Montana opening up their parks to tourists last month, the Blackfeet Nation tribal leaders recently announced they would keep the eastern entrances and roads to Glacier National Park, which lie on reservation land, closed at least through August. This has resulted in visitors being confined to a smaller portion of the park, with long lines of cars at the only open entry point.
“Our number one objective is to keep people alive,” said Robert DesRosier, who leads the tribe’s COVID-19 response team. “We don’t want one person to die. Our elders are the keepers of the culture, and we can’t afford to lose them.”
Keep reading for a full news update.
Statement From The Washington Redskins Football Team
‘NEVER’ Is Here For Washington NFL Team
Indian Country Today, July 13
The Washington NFL franchise plans to retire its controversial nickname Monday, according to multiple reports.
NFL’s Washington Redskins Will Change Name And Logo, Team Says
CNN, Homero De la Fuente and Wayne Sterline, July 13
The National Football League’s Washington franchise will change the Redskins name and logo, the team announced Monday in a statement.
The new name of the team was not revealed.
Washington NFL Team Says It Will Retire Redskins Name, Logo
ESPN, John Keim, July 13
The Washington Redskins announced Monday that they will be retiring their nickname and logo after completing a thorough review that began on July 3
Washington NFL Team Set To Retire Racist Name On Monday
Native News Online, Levi Rickert, July 12
The Washington National Football League (NFL) franchise is set to retire the racist Redsk*ns name on Monday, the Washington Post reported late Sunday night.
Source: Redskins To Announce Nickname Will Be Change
ESPN, John Keim, July 12
The Washington Redskins will officially announce Monday morning that they will be changing their nickname, though no new name will be revealed just yet, a source confirmed Sunday night.
Advocates Seek Indigenous Representation At Oklahoma Monument
Indian Country Today, Ginny Underwood, July 11
A sit-in Saturday at a massive monument here commemorating an 1889 land run drew hundreds of Indigenous activists and supporters, along with a few dozen armed counter-protesters, some carrying long rifles and wearing bulletproof vests.
The Society to Protect Indigenous Rights & Indigenous Treaties had obtained a permit for its demonstration at the Centennial Land Run Monument, which depicts the opening of “unassigned land” in Oklahoma Territory.
In Campaign Against Racism, Team Names Get New Scrutiny
New York Times, Gillian R. Brassil, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Billy Witz and David Waldstein, July 10
Guy Jones had been advocating for 21 long years, hoping for the day when Anderson High School, outside Cincinnati, would drop the nickname he found vulgar and insulting to his Native American heritage.
For Die-Hard Redskins Fans, Name Review Brings A Mix Of Anger, Sadness and Relief
Washington Post, Sam Fortier, July 10
Washington Redskins fans knew this was coming. The realization came to some more than four decades ago, when protests of the team’s name began, and to others in 2013 and 2014, when the debate erupted into the mainstream. Even though many hated to admit it, they knew. And over the past 45 days, as the country reckoned with race issues in the wake of George Floyd’s killing and monuments began to fall, it dawned on even the name’s staunchest defenders: “NEVER,” as owner Daniel Snyder once said, didn’t really mean never.
‘Blinded By Fandom’: An Argument For Changing The Chicago Blackhawks Name
WBEZ (NPR), Steve Bynum and Libby Berry, July 10
The Chicago Blackhawks this week took criticism for their refusal to change their team name and logo.
The Hawks decision was announced just days after the Washington Redskins, whose name many consider to be a racial slur, and the Cleveland Indians said they were looking into a name change.
Braves’ Name, Chop Are Complex And Personal Issues For Native Americans
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Sarah K. Spencer, July 10
Bo Taylor doesn’t remember the exact year he brought a group of kids down from Cherokee, N.C. for a Braves game, but he remembers the exact moment their demeanor shifted.
CARES Act Funding:
Rep. O’Halleran Introduces Bill To Extend Deadline For Tribes To Spend CARES Act Funding
Native News Online, July 11
The delays in tribes receiving Coronavirus Relief Fund payments allocated under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act have caused some tribes to seek extensions to spend the money. As it stands now, funds received from the CARES Act must be spent by tribes by December 30, 2020.
Tribes Say Delayed Coronavirus Funds Hurt Relief, Other Efforts
KTAR News, Lisa Diethelm, July 11
At a time when some Native American communities continue to struggle with the most basic needs, tribal leaders Wednesday called it “an outrage” that tribes had to wait months for coronavirus relief funds.
Petersburg Tribal Government Awarded COVID Grant
KFSK, Joe Viechnicki, July 10
Petersburg’s tribal government is one of four in the state awarded federal grant money this month from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
A Closed Border, Pandemic-Weary Tourists And A Big Bottleneck At Glacier National Park
Washington Post, Kathleen McLaughlin, July 11
As Montana warily reopened last month to pandemic-weary tourists, an isolated community held firm with closures and stay-at-home orders. Few outsiders would have paid much attention but for one detail: The Blackfeet Nation borders Glacier National Park, and its decision blocked access to much of the vast wilderness there.
Native American Sovereignty Is No Liberal Triumph
Wall Street Journal, M. Todd Henderson, July 12
The Supreme Court has handed a big win to the sovereignty of Native American tribes. The Court’s ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma—that Congress did not disestablish Indian reservations when Oklahoma became a state in 1907—means that the eastern half of the state is now “Indian Country” and in large part under the rule of tribes like the Creek and the Cherokee. Liberals cheered. Neal Katyal, who served as solicitor general under President Obama, tweeted: “So good to see Tribes winning at SCOTUS.”
The Supreme Court’s Landmark New Native American Rights Decision, Explained
Vox, Ian Millhiser, July 10
The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma received less attention than two other decisions handed down the same day, which concerned whether President Trump is immune from congressional or state criminal investigation. But McGirt is a tremendously significant decision, especially for Native Americans and, ultimately, for anyone concerned with whether the United States must honor its past obligations.
Tribes Eye Online Gaming Amid Pandemic Struggles
Indian Country Today, Rob Capriccioso, July 12
In the midst of a debilitating global pandemic, there is no shortage of concerns for tribes involving their gaming operations.
Can employees be protected and paid? Will closures be necessary again? What is the best response to an alarming uptick in new cases during the first wave, and what happens if there is a second wave? Will the federal government properly live up to its treaty and trust obligations in this uncertain time if there continue to be major shortfalls in tribal operating funds?