NATIONAL INITIATIVES IN INDIAN COUNTRY

For decades, the Oneida Indian Nation has been one of the guardians of Indian Country’s unique and sacred heritage – and the work to protect that heritage continues today. Through its Indian Country Today Media Network, the Nation devotes much-needed resources to covering the news and stories that are important to Native Americans throughout the United States. Beyond its own facilities and programs in Central New York that promote Native American language and culture, the Oneida people have taken a leadership role in supporting the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian and in supporting Native American legal education. Additionally, the Oneida Indian Nation invests in the work of protecting Native Americans’ political rights: most recently, it launched the “Change the Mascot” campaign that has fought anti-Native American bigotry in professional sports.

Indian Gaming as Economic Development Model

Economic data show that unlike commercial gaming, which often extracts revenues from local communities, Indian gaming revenues benefit local economies because much of those resources are invested in the region.

For instance, a landmark study noted that resources from Indian gaming “go to strengthening the community” and that such gaming revenues have become a powerful “tool of development by which tribes have improved the economic lot of their non-Indian neighbors as well.” Because tribes reinvest such revenues in their local economies, the study concluded that “the positive economic and social impact of Indian casinos is measurably greater on surrounding communities than the impact of non-Indian casinos.”

Those trends are exemplified by the Oneida Indian Nation: as a separate analysis from Colgate University researchers found, the Oneida Nation has used its revenues to “pay for many services that allow the Nation to run as a nearly self-sufficient entity” — and in the process, the Oneida people have built a robust tourism economy and an engine of job growth that has benefited the entire region.

Change the Mascot

A civil and human rights movement led by the Oneida Indian Nation, the Change the Mascot campaign is a grassroots initiative that educates the public about the damaging effects on Native Americans arising from the continued use of the R-word.

Change the Mascot has been a joint project of the Oneida people and the National Congress of American Indians — the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization. The group has attracted the support of civil rights leaders, religious organizations, social science groups, sports icons, and political leaders of both parties. With that support, the campaign has called upon NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to put an end to the use of the R-word as the mascot and name of the NFL team in Washington, D.C.

Since Change the Mascot began in 2013, great strides in eliminating the use of this racial slur have been made. The campaign has sparked mascot changes at schools around the country, as well as local and state legislative resolutions echoing the call for change. It is time for the NFL to stand on the right side of history and end the use of this racial slur, especially at a moment when America is working to promote itself as a tolerant, pluralistic society in the face of detractors who seek to portray our country as a haven of bigotry.

ChangeTheMascot.org

Museum of the American Revolution

The extraordinary role the Oneida Indian Nation played in the Revolutionary War will be featured in the groundbreaking new museum opening in Philadelphia in 2017.

During America’s war for independence, the Oneidas fought in support of the colonists – enduring many hardships, including the loss of life. Visitors to the Museum of the American Revolution can take in the rich historical account of the Oneida Nation becoming America’s first ally.

The Oneida Nation became a founding donor to the museum when it donated $10 million to support its construction. The support was designed to preserve the Oneida people’s history and culture, and make sure that the Oneida Nation’s role in the revolution is preserved for posterity. Because of this support, the Museum of the American Revolution will be forever able to introduce new generations to the story of the historic partnership between the Oneidas and America’s founders.

Press releases from the Museum:

Lifecasts of Native American Models Created for Oneida Indian Gallery at New Museum of the American Revolution

Museum of the American Revolution Receives $10M Donation from Oneida Indian Nation

amrevmuseum.org

Oneida Nation and the Smithsonian Museum

Standing nearly 20 feet high in the prestigious National Museum of the American Indian, the “Allies in War, Partners in Peace” statue commemorates the bond between two nations – the Oneida and the United States.

Full of Oneida allegory, the 2,200 pound bronze sculpture depicts Oneida Chief Shenendoah and Oneida woman, Polly Cooper, along with Gen. George Washington. The statute symbolizes the friendship that was forged between the two nations during the Revolutionary War.

The statue can be found on the fourth floor of the Smithsonian Institution’s museum, the first in the country dedicated exclusively to Native Americans.

See one of the earliest treaties still in effect, the Treaty of Canandaigua, in the exhibition “Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations,” also at the NMAI. The treaty confirms peace between the Haudenosaunee and America. President George Washington signed at the bottom and Big Sky, Handsome Lake and Cornplanter were among the Native delegates to leave their mark, by writing an X beside their name.

This exhibition is the largest such historical collection available to the public and will be on display through spring 2020.

nmai.si.edu

Indian Country Today Media

Designed as a national platform for Native voices and issues, Indian County Today’s website reaches a global audience interested in news and information from Indian Country.

A full-service, mobile-optimized website, IndianCountryTodayMediaNetwork.com, delivers breaking news alerts and This Week from Indian Country Today, a weekly subscription-based e-newsletter providing in-depth coverage of American Indian news, culture, ideals and businesses.

The first ever all-inclusive media network for American Indians, Indian Country Today informs and entertains thanks to a talented team of contributing Native writers, reporters and artists throughout the world. The website offers comprehensive listings of pow wows, scholarships, internships, tribal colleges, health tips, veterans’ resources, and job opportunities.

indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com