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Statement on the Airplane Banner Flyover during the Kansas City vs Tennessee Titans Game

The same “Change the Name and Stop the Chop” flew over Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay during the 2021 Super Bowl

October 24, 2021

Not In Our Honor is responsible for taking our message “Change the Name, Stop the Chop”  to Nashville to protest the continuation of Institutional Racism in the NFL generally and the Kansas City franchise specifically.   We also continue our billboard campaign in the KC metro area and an online petition at www.EndRacismKC.com.   

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

The KC football team recently stated they have “now expanded our relationship beyond just the group in the Midwest that we’ve been working with,” regarding the American Indian working group.  They do not mention the local, long-standing Kansas City organizations, leaders and community most directly affected by their brand, and are not part of the discussion.  They also recently stated 31 tribes have participated in their American Indian Heritage “Celebration,” which is a half-truth.  Individual Tribal citizens from various tribes have participated, and the number, if any, of official, Tribally-sanctioned participation is much smaller.  The National Congress of American Indians, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native advocacy organization, which has campaigned against stereotypes and mascots in sports since 1968, called the Kansas City team one of the American sports businesses that “continue to profit from harmful stereotypes originated during a time when white superiority and segregation were common place,” and adopted the above-referenced resolution in 2020. 

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   

Sixteen years after the APA report, the Kansas City Football team states on their website, “The Chiefs are committed to ensuring that our actions as a club honor American Indians.”  Their name, imagery and behavior does not and will not honor us and Not In Our Honor Coalition will continue to protest their use of Native American imagery, culture, and heritage until they change their name and imagery to reflect the rhetoric painted in their endzone, “End Racism.”      

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

Leonardo Salvaggio (Italy) show with Rhonda LeValdo of Not In Our Honor

This episode’s guest is Rhonda LeValdo, an activist for Native American rights. Rhonda is an Acoma Pueblo tribal member from New Mexico, currently living in Kansas. She’s the host of the “Native Spirit” radio show, one of the founders of the “Not in Our Honor” movement (which advocates against the usage of native imagery in sports) and a professor at Haskell Indian Nations University. https://youtu.be/iAvw4hg5U3E

Join Us at our Protest & Stand in Solidarity #EndRacismKC

Join us outside the stadium to bring attention to the racism that the team name and cultural appropriation being done by the KC NFL team.

We will be back at the same spot on Sunday 1/30/2022 off Blue Ridge Parkway across the BP gas station at 11:30am, Bring your signs, Let KC know that we want them to #ChangeTheName and #StopTheChop

We suggest carpooling, the main place we park does charge $25-$30 (bring cash) depending on demand. Be a part of our Social Justice movement to tell KC their efforts to be inclusive fall short and do tremendous harm to our Native people all over the country not just in KC!

Statement on Plane Banner flyover at Denver vs. Kansas City game

Picture of the Banner that flew in Denver

January 8, 2022

Not In Our Honor is responsible for taking our message “Change the Name, Stop the Chop”  to Denver, CO to protest the continuation of Institutional Racism in the NFL generally and the Kansas City franchise specifically.   We also continue our billboard campaign in the KC metro area and an online petition at www.EndRacismKC.com.   

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

The KC football team recently stated they have “now expanded our relationship beyond just the group in the Midwest that we’ve been working with,” regarding the American Indian working group.  They do not mention the local, long-standing Kansas City organizations, leaders and community most directly affected by their brand, and are not part of the discussion.  They also recently stated 31 tribes have participated in their American Indian Heritage “Celebration,” which is a half-truth.  Individual Tribal citizens from various tribes have participated, and the number, if any, of official, Tribally-sanctioned participation is much smaller.  The National Congress of American Indians, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native advocacy organization, which has campaigned against stereotypes and mascots in sports since 1968, called the Kansas City team one of the American sports businesses that “continue to profit from harmful stereotypes originated during a time when white superiority and segregation were common place,” and adopted the above-referenced resolution in 2020. 

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   

Sixteen years after the APA report, the Kansas City Football team states on their website, “The Chiefs are committed to ensuring that our actions as a club honor American Indians.”  Their name, imagery and behavior does not and will not honor us and Not In Our Honor Coalition will continue to protest their use of Native American imagery, culture, and heritage until they change their name and imagery to reflect the rhetoric painted in their endzone, “End Racism.”      

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

November 2021 Native American Heritage Month Statement

Not In Our Honor members stand outside the KC football stadium 2021

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

Not In Our Honor 2021 Continuing to Protest the KC football Name

September 10, 2021

Statement to Kansas City Football Team from Not In Our Honor 2021

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

The decision of the Kansas City football team to remove the horse “War Paint” from the games in addition to last year  prohibiting fans from wearing “headdresses and face paint styled in a way that references or appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions,” is another step in the right direction.  While it may address the more blatant racist behaviors in the stadium, it does not address the overall racism and appropriation of Native culture inherent with utilizing a race of People as a mascot.  It is also a disservice to the fans.   While misguided at best, the fans are trying to support their team.  By identifying some behaviors as too “offensive” while reserving some behaviors (tomahawk chop) for review, the team not only robs fans of the full fan experience, they have made the determination that some racism is okay, but blatant racism is not.  This is directly in opposition to the recent statements made by the NFL, team owners, management, and players about social justice.  

Banning these behaviors is unlikely to stop devout fans from continuing to don headdresses and face paint in the parking lot, nor will it prevent the opposing team from racist behavior.   The opposing team will still use the same offensive signs and verbiage they have used for many years, such as, “send them back to the reservation,” “scalp them,” and “Trail of Tears.”    

Kansas City’s team name was chosen in 1963 to honor a mayor nicknamed “The Chief” due to his founding of an imaginary Boy Scout Indian tribe.  This occurred before the Civil Rights movement and before the American Indian Civil Rights movement in the 1970s.   For decades, hundreds of tribes, national Indian organizations, and professional organizations have spoken out on this matter.  In 2005, the APA 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      

The attempt to justify the maintenance of racist mascots because a very small number of Native Americans accept it, when a majority of us vehemently oppose them is shocking.  A recent study found the more connected the individual Native is with their culture (language, traditions, ceremonies), the stronger their opposition. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1948550619898556?journalCode=sppa

With the KC “Inspire Change” and “Kingdom United” program to teach students to learn about “race and inclusion” why not take a step and inspire a whole race of Native Americans and Change the Name! Be on the side of racial justice, don’t just talk about it.  Currently our petition asking KC to change the name is over 11,000 signatures. https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/change-the-name-and-imagery-of-the-kansas-city-chiefs-football-team?source=direct_link&referrer=group-not-in-our-honor

Not in Our Honor will continue our protest outside the stadium in addition to other signage around the city, we ask:

  1. Cease the use of racialized Native American branding by eliminating any and all imagery of or evocative of Native American culture, traditions, and spirituality from their team franchise including the logo. This includes the use of Native terms, drum,  arrows, or monikers that assume the presence of Native American culture.
  2. Apply the NFL’s “zero tolerance” for on-field use of racial and homophobic slurs to all races and ethnic groups, especially Native Peoples.

Not In Our Honor Coalition www.NotInOurHonor.com

Rhonda LeValdo, Amanda Blackhorse, Ed Thomas Smith, Jimmy Beason, Shereena Becenti, Carole Cadue-Blackwood, Gaylene Crouser, Kansas City Indian Center, American Indian Council-Region VII

Billboard and Flyover Statement

Not In Our Honor, a coalition of Native Americans against the use of the Native Mascots, Names and Imagery, is holding its silent protest against the KC football team on February 7th to raise awareness of the continued serious psychological, social and cultural consequences of race based mascots, logos, symbols and stereotypes for Native Americans, especially the Native youth we serve in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Our online petition at https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/change-the-name-and-imagery-of-the-kansas-city-chiefs-football-team?source=direct_link& calls on the Kansas City Chiefs to cease their use of racialized Native American branding by eliminating all imagery of or evocative of Native American culture, traditions, and spirituality from their team franchise by changing their name including the logo. This includes the use of Native terms, drum, arrows, or monikers that assume the presence of Native American culture and apply the NFL’s “zero tolerance” for on-field use of racial and homophobic slurs to all races and ethnic groups, especially Native Peoples!

We are amplifying our message by renting two digital billboards (I-435 near 103rd St exit and I-70 near Benton).  We are also responsible for the airplane flying near Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, with a banner reading “Change Your Name and Stop the Chop! EndRacismKC.com” on Superbowl weekend, February 5,6, and 7.   

Signed: Not In Our Honor, Kansas City Indian Center, The Region VII American Indian Council, The National Center for Indigenous American Cultures (Thidaware), National Congress of American Indians, and Native Artists Coalition to End “Native” Mascots

Contact: Rhondalevaldo@gmail.com

Billboard Statement

Not In Our Honor, a coalition of Native Americans against the use of the Native Mascots, Names and Imagery, is holding its silent protest against the KC football team on February 7th to raise awareness of the continued serious psychological, social and cultural consequences of race based mascots, logos, symbols and stereotypes for Native Americans, especially the Native youth we serve in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Our online petition at https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/change-the-name-and-imagery-of-the-kansas-city-chiefs-football-team?source=direct_link& calls on the Kansas City Chiefs to cease their use of racialized Native American branding by eliminating all imagery of or evocative of Native American culture, traditions, and spirituality from their team franchise by changing their name including the logo. This includes the use of Native terms, drum, arrows, or monikers that assume the presence of Native American culture and apply the NFL’s “zero tolerance” for on-field use of racial and homophobic slurs to all races and ethnic groups, especially Native Peoples!

We are amplifying our message by renting two digital billboards (I-435 near 103rd St exit and I-70 near Benton).  reading “Change Your Name and Stop the Chop! #EndRacismKC along with our website address NotInOurHonor.com.”  A link to our petition is available on our website.   

Signed: Not In Our Honor, Kansas City Indian Center, The Region VII American Indian Council, The National Center for Indigenous American Cultures (Thidaware), National Congress of American Indians, and Native Artists Coalition to End “Native” Mascots

Contact: Rhondalevaldo@gmail.com

NCAI Resolution mentions work of Not In Our Honor and Condemns Kansas City’s Football Franchise.

The National Congress of American Indians passed resolution PDX-20-042 “Support for the Elimination of Race-Based Native Logos, Mascots, Names, Behaviors and Practices”, a resolution sponsored by Not In Our Honor coalition member Rhonda LeValdo. Click here to read the full resolution which condemns Kansas City’s football franchise.