News hit the interwebs Nov.5 about the Athletic Shoe-Apparel company Adidas announcing that it would assist any High School that wanted to change from the derogatory practice of having an “Indian”, “savage”, “brave”, “Redskin” or other similar moniker as its school mascot with approximately 2000 high schools in America still teaching young minds that its ok to caricature, fetishize, objectify & ultimately dehumanize Native People. Adidas has agreed to help design new logos in order to make it so cost of change would not prohibit any school that wanted to do the right thing and walk into the evolving, socially conscious 21st century. Adidas representatives announced this monumental effort during United States President Obama’s 7th Annual Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, DC.
Just a year ago Nike N7 was under fire for throwing a Redskins themed party for one of its beloved brand personality’s, NBA superstar Kevin Durant. Actually, I don’t know if N7 was “under fire” but we here at LRI definitely weren’t going to sit back and be happy that Nike and/or N7 thought nothing of insulting the entire collective of Native Nations by throwing the party in the 1st place but also for reportedly designing a personalized maroon Nike Zoom III shoe for Kevin Durant called the “Redskin.”
Nike N7 has done a tremendous service to Native athletes and for the promotion of sport and healthy lifestyles. It is understandable that some Native people are unwilling to call out Nike and N7 because they gave Natives some much needed attention, they put us on the map so to speak in a material pop-culture where most Natives are the type that will line up to get the newest pair of Js. This is fine; maybe that’s our job here to call it how we see it but you got to wonder why Nike has not addressed the Redskins travesty knowing it’s a real issue for Native people. Maybe Adidas will take it a step further and develop lines and designs by Natives to compete with N7. There is certainly enough athletic and artistic talent to go around.
Thank you to those putting tremendous amounts of money behind this colossal effort to retire the most derogatory Redskins name and Indian mascots in general. Maybe those with that kind of money and presence, including wealthy Casino Tribal Nations, NIGA, and the NCAIs of the Indian World could put that kind of coin, blood, sweat and tears behind re-establishing Tribal Nationhood in the World Arena by investing in organic food-security, energy efficient housing opportunities, Hemp as a replacement of Petroleum in all practicable aspects, Medicinal Cannabis and even funding those activists who are willing to defend the Original Self-Determination and Sovereignty of Tribal Nations at all costs in volatile dispute areas such as Taxation, Hunting & Fishing, Water Rights, and so on. Maybe we could compel Obama or Congress with creative leverage to recognize a whole new approach to “Indian Trust Land” and Domestic Dependency including support for the Revocation of the Doctrine of Discovery. Everywhere, in every city, every Rez, every Native enclave we need to organize Native to Native, Tribal Nation to Tribal Nation trade and economic interchanges and establish control and prominence to protect our interests. I’m going to cut this tangent off here save it for a different article later. *By Chase Iron Eyes