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NCAI Congressional Briefing: Derogatory Sports Mascots & SAIGE Position

December 3, 2013Loriblog

CONTACT- Melinda Warner

PRESS ADVISORY: Ending a Legacy of Derogatory Sports Mascots, Logos, and Symbols – December 5th Briefing

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is hosting a briefing featuring advocates from the Civil Rights community and representatives from tribal nations and organizations to discuss the devastating effects “Indian” sports mascots, logos, and symbols have on Native American youth and communities. Coordinated through the offices of Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), Congressional Native American Caucus Co-Chairs, and the office of Congressional Delegate Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS), this briefing will give members of Congress, their staff, and the media access to those who have been leading the effort to end this shameful legacy.

The use of racist and derogatory “Indian” sports mascots, logos, and symbols has perpetuated negative stereotypes of America’s first peoples. Rather than honoring Native peoples, these caricatures and stereotypes contribute to a disregard for the diverse cultural heritages of Native people. Usage of this term carries negative historic connotations reminiscent of the eras of termination of Indian tribes and the assimilation of Native people.

The Non-Disparagement of Native American Persons or Peoples in Trademark Registration Act of 2013 (H.R. 1278), was introduced by Congressional Delegate Eni Faleomavaega on March 20, 2013, and has received widespread support and praise from tribal governments, organizations, and individuals. This legislation would amend the Trademark Act of 1946, banning the use of the term ‘Redsk*n’ and canceling the federal registrations of trademarks using that term.

Featured Panelists

  •  Richard Guest, Staff Attorney, Native American Rights Fund
  • Ahniwake Rose, Executive Director, National Indian Education Association
  • Jacqueline Pata, Executive Director, National Congress of American Indians
  • Suzan Shown Harjo, President, Morning Star Institute
  • David Grosso, Washington, DC City Councilmember (Invited)
  • Rushern Baker, County Executive, Prince George’s County (Invited)
  • Congressional Co-Sponsors, H.R. 1278

When- Thursday, December 5th

Briefing: 3:30 – 5:00 pm
Reception: 5:00 – 6:00 pm

Where – Rayburn House Office Building

B-338 & B-339

For more information, read NCAI’s report: Ending the Legacy of Racism in Sports & The Era of Harmful “Indian” Sports Mascots


About The National Congress of American Indians:

Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information visit

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