European Sports Teams Still Use Native Mascots

“Benjamin Bundervoet was wearing his normal workday outfit — a blue-and-white feathered headdress, a fringed tunic and chaps, bright paint streaked across his cheeks as he stepped onto the grass. For the next few hours, Bundervoet would be Buffalo Ben, the official team mascot for K.A.A. Gent, a top Belgian soccer team. As the players warmed up before kickoff at a recent home match, Bundervoet smiled and waved a flag bearing the team’s logo, the profile of a Native American, which is also plastered around the Ghelamco Arena.” A. Keh, The New York Times

Buffalo Ben, the official team mascot for the Belgian soccer team K.A.A. Gent. His sidekick is a female version named Buffalo Mel. Credit Jimmy Bolcina:Photonews, via Getty Images

Excerpt: Tomahawk Chops and Native American Mascots: In Europe, Teams Don’t See a Problem, By Andrew Keh, The New York Times

“Scenes like this play out every weekend across Europe, where teams big and small and across a variety of sports employ Native American names, symbols and concepts of wildly variable authenticity in their branding. There’s the hockey team in the Czech Republic that performs a yearly sage-burning ritual on the ice, the rugby team in England whose fans wear headdresses and face paint, the German football team called the Redskins and many more.

Exeter Rugby Club, a top English rugby union team, rebranded itself as the Exeter Chiefs in 1999. Its mascot, Big Chief, appears at matches waving a toy tomahawk.Credit Stu Forster:Getty Images

For years, these teams were insulated from the vigorous discussion about the use of this type of imagery by sports teams in the United States, where critics long ago deemed the practice offensive and anachronistic.

This year, the Cleveland Indians announced that they would stop using their Chief Wahoo logo on their uniforms beginning in 2019, continuing a decades-long trend in which thousands of such references have disappeared from the American sports landscape.

During that same period, though, new examples were appearing in Europe, where teams and fans have long viewed the mascots and logos through kaleidoscopes of local culture and, detached from the charged history that the imagery carries in the North America, formed their own ideas about what is socially acceptable.

But these ideas are slowly being challenged, and increasingly these teams are finding themselves being asked to confront the same questions of representation, appropriation and stereotyping. K.A.A. Gent, for example, devotes a lengthy page on its website to the history of its logo and nickname, but notes only that the club is ‘aware of the public debate in American society around the use of stereotypical images and caricatures.’

“Americans, Canadians, they’re working on this issue, talking about it, debating,” said Stephanie Pratt, a cultural ambassador for the Crow Creek South Dakota Sioux and longtime resident of Exeter, England. “Europeans are late to the table. They’re just beginning to debate it — or maybe not at all.”

Pratt has found herself in the middle of one such debate involving the Exeter Chiefs, the defending champions of England’s rugby union league.

Exeter, which rebranded itself as the Chiefs in 1999, calls its team store the Trading Post and its online fan group the Tribe. Fans chat on a message board named Pow-Wow.

Among the 15 bars at the team’s home stadium are Wigwam, Cheyenne, Apache, Mohawk, Tomahawk, Buffalo and Bison… The Frolunda Indians, a professional hockey team from Gothenburg, Sweden, was known as Vastra Frolunda IF until 1995, around the time that the Swedish Hockey League began encouraging its clubs to adopt American-style nicknames. Inspired by the Chicago Blackhawks and the fact that the team in the 1960s was said to play in a “vilda vastern,” or Wild West, style, it chose the Indians.

The club developed a cartoon logo depicting an Indian chief with a headdress fanned around his stern face, and for a time the team’s costumed mascot was a Native American hockey player with a missing tooth and feathers poking through his helmet. (These days, the team’s in-stadium mascot is an anthropomorphic bison.)

‘We, from a distance, follow the discussions about the Washington Redskins, the Cleveland Indians,’ said Peter Pettersson Kymmer, a Frolunda team spokesman.

‘But we sincerely think that our Indian, in our point of view, is in no way offensive to the Native Americans. On the contrary, it’s a tribute, and we’re proud to wear it.”

Category: mascots, Sports

Large Number of Feral Horses Dead on Navajo Land in Arizona

“Approximately 191 feral horses have been found dead in a stock pond on Navajo land in northern Arizona, according to Navajo leaders, who attributed the death to ongoing drought and famine. ‘These animals were searching for water to stay alive. In the process, they unfortunately burrowed themselves into the mud and couldn’t escape because they were so weak,’ Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez said in a statement on Thursday.” A. Vera, CNN

Approximately 191 feral horses were found dead at a stock pond on Navajo land in Arizona.

Excerpt: Nearly 200 dead horses found on Navajo land in Arizona, By Amir Vera, CNN

“Some of the horses were found thigh- to neck-deep in the mud at the stock pond in Gray Mountain, according to Nina Chester, a staff assistant for the office of the president and vice president. Hydrated lime will be spread over the animals to speed up decomposition. They will be buried on-site, the statement said.

The Navajo community in Arizona has had to contend with a growing feral horse population of about 50,000 to 70,000, according to the statement…Horses dying at the Gray Mountain stock pond isn’t new, Navajo officials said. It’s a seasonal issue.

An intense drought hit the southwestern United States this year, creating dry conditions in northern New Mexico and southwestern Arizona, according to CNN affiliate KNXV-TV. A drought emergency was declared for the Navajo Nation in March.”

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The Center for Native American Youth is Accepting Art Submissions

“The Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) is launching their first Creative Native Call for Art for Native youth 5 to 24-years-old. In addition, Native youth artists between 15 and 24-years-old can submit for an opportunity to be the cover artist for CNAY’s 2018 State of Native Youth Report.” V. Schilling, ICMN

CNAY : Gen-I

Excerpt: The Creative Native call for artwork By Vincent Schilling, ICTMN

“The Creative Native call for artwork is an initiative that supports young Indigenous artists ages 5 to 24-years-old and provides the opportunity to receive national recognition, funding for art supplies, and a $200 prize.

In addition to the overall submissions, there is an additional opportunity for Native youth artists between 15 and 24-years-old to be the cover artist for CNAY’s 2018 State of Native Youth Report. The cover artist will be flown to Washington, D.C. to participate in the reports release event in November.”

Art Submission and Eligibility Requirements

Art submissions must answer the question: What does Generation Indigenous mean to me? Submission photos and images will only be accepted electronically through the online Creative Native Entry Form. Submissions will be reviewed by an independent review committee, which will select one awardee from each age category: 5-9-year-olds; 10-14; 15-19; and 20-24.

Examples of submissions can include, but are not limited to paintings, drawings, photography, sculptures, and traditional works such as beadwork, carvings, and baskets. Artists can submit a maximum of three entries. Artists will need to submit separate forms for every entry.

Deadline and details

Artists may submit up to three (3) images of each artwork, displaying alternate angles and perspectives. Submissions are due at 11:59 pm Eastern Time on May 9th, 2018.

Click here for a complete list of Rules & Guidelines.

Click here to submit your art.  

If you have any questions, you may contact del.curfman@aspeninstiute.org.

 

As Chief Wahoo Logo Leaves Cleveland Indians Logo Supporters Get Angry

“For decades, community activists in Ohio have held demonstrations at the Cleveland Indians’ home opener to protest the team’s name and logo — a grinning, red-faced named Chief Wahoo that some consider racist. And in what has become another tradition, Chief Wahoo’s supporters have screamed back as they head toward the turnstiles at Progressive Field…. on Friday at Cleveland’s first home game of the season the confrontation was more crowded, more tense and more vulgar than usual.” M. Stevens and D.  Waldstein, The New York Times

ICTMN

Excerpt: As Cleveland Indians Prepare to Part With Chief Wahoo, Tensions Reignite, By Matt Stevens and David  Waldstein, The New York Times

“The heightened atmosphere was likely in part because of the team’s decision to stop using the Chief Wahoo logo on its uniforms beginning next year — which angered some fans when it was announced in January.

Cleveland’s baseball team is just one part of a cultural conversation that stretches across the sports landscape. Many people vigorously oppose the use of Native American names and images as mascots and insignias, saying they are demeaning or worse.

Protesters For the mascot. Slate

Several teams use such logos, including the N.F.L.’s Washington Redskins, the N.H.L.’s Chicago Blackhawks and the N.C.A.A.’s Florida State Seminoles. But some find the Indians’ caricature, which has existed in various forms since 1947, particularly distasteful. Philip Yenyo [is] the executive director of the American Indian Movement of Ohio. One video of this year’s demonstration, which was organized by Mr. Yenyo’s group and the Committee of 500 Years of Dignity and Resistance, has been viewed more than 110,000 times.

‘People think this is just now coming up,’ Mr. Yenyo said. ‘We were never covered before. All the other demonstrations were barely touched upon.’ In another video, also produced by cleveland.com, dozens of protesters yelled, ‘Seventy years of harming the Native American community is enough’; ‘Change the name, change the logo!’; and ‘Burn, Wahoo, burn!’

In response, some fans walking to the stadium hurled profanity-laced tirades at the protesters, along with ugly names and obscene gestures…Several flaunted team jackets, jerseys and caps emblazoned with the Chief Wahoo logo. One fan made whooping noises as she walked by.

Mr. Yenyo called this year’s rally ‘a little more boisterous’ than normal, but he noted that there were no arrests and no violence. But Mr. Yenyo said that was not enough, noting that fans should expect to see protesters again next season. We’re going to continue until they change the name of the team,” he said. We want the name gone.”

Category: Sports

Natives Ask: What Is A Tariff and How Does It Affect Indian Country?

” Trump has launched a campaign to fight a trade imbalance against China because ‘China and other nations trade unfairly with the United States.’ The goal is to use tariffs (or the threat of tariffs since they have not yet occurred) to get China to back down on other trade issues. What does this mean? And, how will Indian Country be impacted?” M. Trahaunt, ICTMN

Photo depicting international trade. ICTMN

 

Excerpt:  What Is A Tariff? And How Does A Campaign Against China Affect Indian Country? By Mark Trahaunt, ICTMN

“It’s important to say over and over again that a tariff is fancy word for a tax. A tariff affects how much corporate consumers are charged for, say, steel from China that is used to make a car.

And in response to such a tariff — China will levy a similar tax on its consumers when they buy pork, making that meat more expensive in China…Each side will tax products and the result will cost consumers more. And the producers of those products will make less money.

That’s where Indian Country comes in.

The tax bill will be paid every time someone buys a product that’s on the list, such as a car. And, on the other side of the ledger, Native American consumers will benefit as the price of pork (and its competitor, beef and chicken) drop because there will be more supply on the market. But the producers, the farmers, will make less.

According to the National Congress of American Indians: ‘Agriculture is increasingly important to Native economies, representing the economic backbone of more than 200 tribal communities and witnessing an 88 percent increase in the number of American Indian farmers between 2002 and 2007. According to the Census of Agriculture, in 2007 annual Indian agriculture production exceeded $1.4 billion in raw agriculture products.’

This is the trade deficit — and the Trump administration’s goal is to shrink it. And there is evidence that this trade deficit impacts wages and job creation, especially in manufacturing jobs.”

Category: Business, Politics

Navajo Ranchers: “We Need to Manage Feral Horses”

“The March 1, Navajo Times covered the feral horse issue (Hunt canceled, feral horses a growing problem, page A1). Here’s a response by a guy with the name of a horse. In 2013, I helped the Department of Agriculture with a horse roundup. We had a crew that rounded up horses in 54 chapters. That was five years ago. Why is the president just now stating, ‘We do need to implement a horse management plan’? The plan should have been done in 2013.'”The Navajo Times

Navajo ranchers wrestle a feral horse. High Country News

Excerpt:  Feral Horses…The Navajo Times

“He also stated, ‘Horse management plan includes castration, birth control and adoptions.’ The option is ludicrous. Sounds good but each animal will continue eating 32 pounds of forage and drinking 10 gallons of water per day. We need forage and water for livestock that bring us revenue. Rez ranch life has its challenges. Can’t speak for other producers but for me it’s too many wild, unbranded, unclaimed feral horses, followed by drought and open range.

Horses wait in a cement culvert along Highway 160 for a Navajo Nation agriculture horse trailer. Navajo-Hopi Observer

Trying every strategic planning to improve beef cattle business isn’t working. Open range is a terrible way to make a living raising livestock on the rez, financially that is. In the summer months I spend money feeding, watering, buying salt blocks and range cakes for my cattle.

But in open range, the major concern is many, many feral horses at Oakridge Wildhorse Country Ranch. Named the ranch for many feral horses that nobody owns. I have horses for ranch work; I don’t need more than three.

Feral horses deplete natural springs at Oakridge. I want to ask the guy from Betatakin to come get the feral horses. I’ll help with the roundup and trucking…BIA and Navajo Nation will continue blaming everything and everyone except the fact that they allow resource mismanagement to continue for almost a century.”

Category: Animals