IMAGE Change the Mascot, a national campaign to end the use of the word Redskins, launched by the Oneida Indian Nation.

Change the Mascot is a national campaign to end the use of the racial slur “redskins” as the mascot and name of the NFL team in Washington, D.C. Launched by the Oneida Indian Nation, the campaign calls upon the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell to do the right thing and bring an end the use of the racial epithet.

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Oneida Indian Nation Statement Regarding Revelations Surrounding the Washington NFL Team's New Foundation

The Oneida Indian Nation, which leads the national Change the Mascot campaign, responded today to an article in USA Today concerning the Washington NFL team’s newly-announced foundation.

The newspaper cited a report by the Office of Inspector General determining that the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) Office of Justice Services (OJS) awarded, and then terminated, a $1 million contract to the organization whose CEO is the leader of the new foundation announced this week by Washington’s NFL team.

The Office of Inspector General report describes the agreement with the National Native American Law Enforcement Association as “a defective contract that was neither open to competition nor embodied fair and transparent business practices.” It concludes: “BIA wasted almost $1 million of appropriated funds to fill critically needed law enforcement officers positions in Indian Country.”

The report stated: “We found that OJS received no benefit when they awarded a recruitment services contract to NNALEA, thus wasting almost $1 million…The contract contained significant defects, allowing NNALEA to take advantage of OJS to produce unusable contract deliverables.”

Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter said in response to these latest revelations:

“This is part of a disturbing, but hardly surprising pattern of behavior by team owner Dan Snyder and his team. Mr. Snyder first insisted that using a dictionary defined racial slur is a way to honor Native Americans. He then hired a former associate of notorious lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who helped bilk Native Americans, and selected a person who financially harmed Native Americans to run a foundation to defend his team’s name. These aren’t accidents, but part of a systematic campaign to denigrate Native Americans by a team owner who will stop at nothing to keep the team’s offensive name.”

“Mr. Snyder and the NFL should heed the calls from the nation’s top political leaders, including Members of Congress from both parties and the President, as well as civil rights organizations, faith leaders, sports icons, journalists, and Native American organizations who have taken a stand against the offensive R-word epithet. The time is long overdue for Snyder, his team and the NFL to stop slurring Native Americans and instead place themselves on the right side of history.”

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