For Immediate Release: July 13, 2020
(Oneida Reservation) – The time has finally come after 50 years of fighting the racist naming of teams and mascots. One of the toughest battles has been won, the Washington Team has retired a racist name and mascot.
Chairman Tehassi Hill acclaimed today, “The Oneida Nation is a nation of strong families built upon our traditions and culture and a strong economy. We encourage the use of a good mind, a good heart and a strong fire. Today our fire within burns stronger and our minds and heart are full of hope that change for the better is coming to our nations. “
The Oneida Nation has sought to restrain the use of derogatory names, disrespectful and mocking activities towards Native American people for too long. In 1970 a resolution was passed that read, “Oneida supported actions to refrain from using names, dress, custom or rituals in imitation of other cultures such a Native Americans, Afro-American , Mexican-Americans and other groups in a manner which is experience as offensive by members of those ethnic groups”.
When the Washington Team played the Green Bay Packers last year, Oneida decided to begin to change the approach and to emphasize cultural pride, rather than recognize the blatant disrespect of the Washington team name. Oneida initiated a commercial campaign to show the pride of the Oneida Nation with a video, I am Oneida. The Oneida Nation encourages positive re-enforcement of our identity as seen in our video, I am Oneida.