Dozens of grassroots indigenous groups are hosting a ‘No Honor in Racism Rally' opposing the use of Native identity and culture as a mascot and demand an end the use of a racial slur by the Washington NFL Team. A prayer gathering, march, and press conference will be held prior to Today’ game at the Levis Stadium.
Bay Area Coalition Against Racism in Sports
A large coalition of grassroots California Indigenous organizations and allies are holding a ‘No Honor In Racism Rally’ as part of the national movement demanding that the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell end the use of the racial epithet in the league.
In addition to #GameOverForRacism banners, signs, and speakers, planned activities at the rally also include honoring Native culture and traditions with Native-led singing, drumming, and dancing. The protest is part of a series of nationwide actions at NFL games to “Change the Name & Change the Mascot!”. that have been held at the Washington team’s away games against the Cardinals, Cowboys, Vikings, and will occur at the Washington team’s home game on .
Native activists will also be discussing the mascot issue as part of a larger resilience and fight against racism and colonialism. The rally’s speakers and messaging will connect their demand for respectful representation of Indigenous Peoples towards their current struggle for Sovereignty and Self Determination and the recognition and protection of Indigenous Rights, Treaties, Traditional Cultures and Sacred Lands.
"We are not created as mascots for the public consumption. We are 154 distinct Indigenous sovereign nations in California, more than any other state. Today we stand together in protest of the mascot images of our people, along with human rights activists and others who believe Native Americans deserve the right to determine how our culture and identity is represented in the media” states Chochenyo Ohlone activist Corrina Gould.
Prior to the march, Gould will offer a traditional Ohlone welcoming during a prayer gathering near Ulistac Natural Area, an Ohlone sacred site located about a mile from the stadium. According to Gould, Ulistac is actually an old Ohlone language place name— Uli being an Ohlone warrior who inhabited the area, stac meaning place/land. Following the prayer gathering, the crowd will be marching to Levi’s Stadium to hold a press conference and rally.
“We stress that by changing the name and mascot, we are working to address systematic oppression, colonialism, and racism”, stated Morning Star Gali, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Pit River Tribe and co-chair of the Bay Area Coalition Against Racism in Sports. The term “Redskin” is derogatory. It refers to scalp hunting which was the basis for the wars against Indigenous Peoples across the continent into the late nineteenth century. “The offensive team name is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ongoing racism directed at Native Americans. It's an uphill battle to carry on our ways of life in the face of pop culture myths about who we are and who we are supposed to be as Indigenous people today.”
“The NFL leadership cannot continue to ignore our voice or the fact that Native American themed mascots harm Native American youth." Student Dahkota Brown 16, Wilton Miwok tribal member added, “It is our duty to protect our identity for this generation, and the many generations to come.”
“We are people of many nations. We celebrate our rich traditions and a beautiful culture. The ways our people are portrayed in sports and media must come to an end as we are NOT a mascot nor a Halloween costume. These mascots are not neutral. They harm and endanger our youth and degrade our community.” Kris Road Traveler Longoria, an enrolled member of the Caddo Nation, Cheyenne Arapaho and Co-Founder/Co-Chair of Bay Area Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media. Kris will be moderating press conference.
Over 40 years ago, the National Congress of American Indians launched a campaign against derogatory stereotypes in media and sports, eventually leading to the “Change the Mascot" campaign. “Change the Name! Change the Mascot" is a grassroots movement with wide-ranging support by state and national legislators, dozens of religious and secular organizations, plus media and sports icons including NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw, Larry King, Former NFL Coach Tony Dungy and NBC Sports Reporter Bob Costas.
Times and Location:
- Prayer Gathering @ Ulistac Natural Area; 4901 Lick Mill Blvd, Santa Clara, CA.
- Begin the march from Ulistac to Levi’s Stadium; 4900 Marie P DeBartolo Way, at the cross streets of Great America Pkwy and Tasman Ave; Santa Clara, CA.
- Press Conference & Rally @ the above location.
Who: The SF Bay Area has historic ties to the Indigenous rights movement, many who will be representing at the press conference. A list of speakers include Corrina Gould, Anthony Sul & Wicahpiluta Candelaria, Ohlone; Kris Road Traveler Longoria, Caddo Nation and Cheyenne Arapaho; Morning Star Gali, Ajumawi Band of Pit River; Dahkota Kicking Bear Brown, Wilton Miwok; Jacqueline Keeler, Navajo & Yankton Dakota; Michael Horse Bill Means, AIM; Clyde Bellecourt, AIM; Lenny Foster, AIM; Fred Short, AIM; Charlene Teters, Lakota Harden; and more!
Bay Area Coalition Against Racism in Sports is sponsored by American Indian Movement-West, Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits, Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, Indian People Organizing for Change, Sacred Sites Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes, ANSWER COALITION, Idle No More SF Bay, and National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. National ‘Change the Mascot’ supporters can be found at:http://www.changethemascot.
#NotYourMascot #ChangeTheName #ChangeTheMascot #NoHonorInRacism