ACET Statement on American Indian Mascots

posted Jun 20, 2014, 3:22 PM by John Norwood

The Alliance of Colonial Era Tribes (ACET) is in support of the “Proud To Be...” web initiative launched by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and ChangetheMascot.org initiative of the Oneida Indian Nation, which produced a public education video on the topic (which can be viewed at http://www.changethemascot.org/proud-to-be-video/). Recent television ads, based upon the video, were run at various locations throughout the country in an effort to heighten public awareness to the issue of harmful American Indian mascots in general, and their use by the Washington Redsk*ns in particular.  Additionally, ACET applauds the United States Patent Office for denying several registrations of the Washington Redsk*ns name and logo.  It is our hope that moral conscience will cause the Washington Redsk*ns owner not to appeal this decision; but, if he does, we hope that he will not prevail.

ACET supports the athletes and conscientious fans of the Washington Redsk*ns, but not the use of the derogatory and racist name or the disrespectful and stereotypical behaviors it promotes.  The use of American Indian caricatures as sports or marketing mascots promotes negative stereotypes, disregards the dignity of American Indian heritage, misappropriates American Indian cultural practices and values, promotes a misunderstanding American Indian history and continuing realities, and further alienates American Indian people. 

Individual tribal governments may have differing perspectives on the use of tribal names by educational institutions and athletic teams, when permission from the local tribes is granted and ongoing cultural education and sensitivity training is done in cooperation with their tribal nation.  However, there is unanimity that derogatory and racist names and caricatures should not be tolerated.   ACET supports the NCAI report, Ending The Legacy Of Racism InSports & The Era Of Harmful “Indian” Sports Mascots.

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