November 1, 2021
A joint resolution by Congress in 1990 led to the passage of Public Law No: 101-343 and the Proclamation of National Native American Heritage Month. The resolution stated that members of the Senate and House of Representatives believed the proclamation of National Native American Heritage Month could “encourage activities which provide positive benefits of enhanced self-esteem, pride, and self-awareness to young American Indians;” and “provides an opportunity for the people of the United States to consider and reflect on our Nation’s current relationship with our American Indians…”
In 2005, the American Psychological Association called for the immediate retirement of all American Indian mascots, symbols, images and personalities by schools, colleges, universities, athletic teams and organizations, stating “Research has shown that the continued use of American Indian mascots, symbols, images and personalities has a negative effect on not only American Indian students but all students…” https://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/indian-mascots https://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/policy/mascots-justif.pdf
It has been 31 years since the first proclamation of National Native American Heritage month and 16 years since the APA report. The Kansas City Football team states on their webpage in the americanindianheritage portion: “The Chiefs are committed to ensuring that our actions as a club honor American Indians.” Their name, imagery and behavior does not honor us and is contrary to the spirit and letter of the resolution leading to the proclamation of National Native American Heritage Month. The stereotypes and racism the team continues to perpetuate are not undone with the bit of staging they do one game per year in “honor” of American Indians.
In honor of our ancestors and for the sake of our children and the generations to come, Not In Our Honor will continue to protest against the systemic racism Kansas City football continues to perpetuate, not only in this country, but all over the world. We will continue to remind KC football that we will not move from our stance to Change the Name. There is a right side to be on and a wrong side, and racism is always wrong.
Not In Our Honor Coalition www.NotInOurHonor.com
Rhonda LeValdo, Amanda Blackhorse, Thomas Ed Smith, Jimmy Beason, Shereena Becenti, Carole Cadue-Blackwood, Gaylene Crouser, Kansas City Indian Center, American Indian Council-Region VII
Not in Our Honor is a coalition of local Native American leaders and American Indian organizations in the Kansas City metropolitan area who have been speaking out against the use of Native American stereotypes and misappropriation of Native American culture. Additionally, Not In Our Honor sponsored a resolution adopted by the National Congress of American Indians’ (NCAI) in 2020 to include in NCAI’s decades-long campaign for the Elimination of Race-Based Native Logos, Mascots, Names, Behaviors and Practices. https://notinourhonor.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/pdx-20-042-signed.pdf