August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Sunday, November 23, 2014

WATCH LIVE 'No Honor in Racism' Rally Santa Clara



Clyde Bellecourt photo by Jacqueline Keeler
Above "An early bird agitator at the 49er
and Washington team. Here Black Beret rep Naiche confronted him. We are here to educate not engage provocations."
saidTony Gonzales

Photo Jacqueline Keeler, marching to Levi Stadium, now
Photo Jacqueline Keeler now at No Honor in Racism, Levi Stadium, Santa Clara

Photo Dahkota Kicking Bear, now Levi Stadium

Ohlone prayer before march to Levi Stadium now Photo Jacqueline Keeler


By Blu Wakpa, PhD. Bay Area Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media

Kris Longoria:
Morning Star Gali:

OCCUPIED TAMIEN OHLONE TERRITORY (Santa Clara, California) – After successful demonstrations in O’odham (Glendale, Arizona) and Dakota (Twin Cities, Minnesota), four-hundred Indigenous Peoples and their allies poured into Tamien in solidarity with a national grassroots campaign to change the name and mascot of the Washington NFL team. Traveling by carpool, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), and out-of-state flights, many amplified a growing voice for decolonization in sports.

The demonstration began at 8 a.m. with a prayer at one of many desecrated sacred sites (shell mounds and burial grounds) maintaining its indigenous Ohlone place name, Ulistac. According to Corrina Gould, a Karkin and Chochenyo Ohlone, Uli is the name of an Ohlone warrior who inhabited the area and stac refers to place/land. The prayer to the land and ancestors was followed by a march to Levi’s Stadium held prior to the game between San Francisco and Washington.

The peaceful event included a two-hour series of passionate and informed speeches from local, regional, and national activists, including people Indigenous to the area and upcoming leaders like Jacqueline Keeler of Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry (EONM) and Dahkota Brown a 16-year-old Wilton Miwok student and founder of Native Education Raising Dedicated Students (NERDS). Elders who’ve inspired future generations also spoke on the topic, including Charlene Teeters and Clyde Bellecourt of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media (NCRSM).

Asian, African, and European people also educated fans by engaging, chanting, and holding picket signs and banners. Tribal African music blessed the event and recognized the similar histories between the African and Indigenous diaspora. Mexica (Aztec) dancers joined together in prayer, symbolizing the remembrance of the so-called Latino/Hispanic’s Indigeneity and pan-Indigenous interests across the colonial US-MX border.

Radio and television ads criticizing the nickname were aired throughout Ohlone and Miwok territories leading up to the game. Many broadcasters became allies when they chose not to mention Washington’s mascot. Audiences must understand the scalps of Indigenous Peoples were captured to collect bounties from the United States and expand White Supremacy outside of Europe.

Although Washington’s team owner, Dan Snyder, has vowed to “never change the name” and the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell said earlier this year the nickname has been “presented in a way that honors Native Americans,” the demonstrations outside Levi’s Stadium and nationwide indicate Indigenous decolonization and self-determination is inevitable.

As fans passed the demonstration, many were quite surprised. “I’ve been a Washington fan for a long time and I’ve seen more resistance the last few years,” says Brian Jones, 35. He continued, “This demonstration helps me understand the mascot impacts actual people. It made me think about the other side of this issue.” John, 29, agreed saying, “When I see actual Native American’s are offended—I have to respect that.”

A die-hard Washington fan, Robert Magnini, 60, said, “I’ve been a fan since I was a kid. I think the name is offense and we need to change the name as soon as possible.”

Not all Indigenous Peoples agree, including Joseph Rey Potter, 14, who passed the demonstration wearing a Washington jersey and a Pomo baseball hat. “My Dad was a fan, so I just stayed with it. I understand it’s racist, but I’m just a fan of the game.” Potter concluded, “If they changed their name, I’d be a bigger fan.”

Kris Longoria and Antonio Gonzales, co-chairs of the Bay Area Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media, said they will continue to escalate pressure on the NFL football team and build more partnerships with local organizations and government institutions.

Many urgent struggles exist across the Western Hemisphere and we must all do our part to challenge colonialism and honor Indigenous nations, leadership, and goals. Antonio Gonzales said, “People see this issue is winnable, attainable, and they become empowered to move onto the bigger issues.”

A grandmother and her granddaughter appeared severely wounded, covered in bloody hair and hair buns held together with knives. “Redskin means someone whose been scalped, so me and my grandma put fake blood all over to show what a redskin means,” said Calissa Gali, 11. “None of my friends know what redskin means. They should learn at school, but some of the teachers don’t want to talk about it.”

Sacred Sites Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes (SSPRIT) has transferred the pain of another desecrated Ohlone Shell Mound in Karkin by decolonizing Vallejo High School’s Apaches and Solano Middle School’s Chieftains this year. The connections between appropriated sacred sites and stereotypes in sports are undeniable.

SSPRIT are now contractors, collaborating with students and administrators to educate about Indigenous mascots at school assemblies. Teacher training was also included in the negotiations to foster an integrated ethnic studies program across the school district. A duplication of this attainable model is also occurring with the Carquinez Coalition to Change the Mascot (CCCM) for John Swett High School Indians in Karkin (Crocket, CA).

Changing Washington’s name and mascot is not the end of changes to come. Colonization was several lifetimes of trauma and decolonization will take several lifetimes of healing. We envision post-colonialism. We’re not your mascot anymore.

Bay Area Coalition Against Racism in Sports is sponsored by American Indian Movement-West, Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits, Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, Indian People Organizing for Change, Sacred Sites Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes, ANSWER Coalition, Idle No More SF Bay, and National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. National ‘Change the Mascot’ supporters can be found at:

#NotYourMascot #ChangeTheName #ChangeTheMascot #NoHonorInRacism
Previous press statement:

Dozens of grassroots indigenous groups are hosting a ‘No Honor in Racism Rally' opposing the use of Native identity and culture as a mascot and demand an end the use of a racial slur by the Washington NFL Team. A prayer gathering, march, and press conference will be held prior to Today’ game at the Levis Stadium. 

Times and Location:  Sunday, November 23rd, 2014
8:00am - Prayer Gathering @ Ulistac Natural Area; 4901 Lick Mill Blvd, Santa Clara, CA.
9:30 am - Begin the march from Ulistac to Levi’s Stadium; 4900 Marie P DeBartolo Way, at the cross streets of Great America Pkwy and Tasman Ave; Santa Clara, CA.  
10:00am - Press Conference & Rally @ the above location.

Bay Area Coalition Against Racism in Sports
Censored News

A large coalition of grassroots California Indigenous organizations and allies are holding a ‘No Honor In Racism Rally’ as part of the national movement demanding that the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell end the use of the racial epithet in the league.   

In addition to ‪#‎GameOverForRacism banners, signs, and speakers, planned activities at the rally also include honoring Native culture and traditions with Native-led singing, drumming, and dancing. The protest is part of a series of nationwide actions at NFL games to “Change the Name & Change the Mascot!”.  that have been held at the Washington team’s away games against the Cardinals, Cowboys, Vikings, and will occur at the Washington team’s home game on December 28th.

Native activists will also be discussing the mascot issue as part of a larger resilience and fight against racism and colonialism. The rally’s speakers and messaging will connect their demand for respectful representation of Indigenous Peoples towards their current struggle for Sovereignty and Self Determination and the recognition and protection of Indigenous Rights, Treaties, Traditional Cultures and Sacred Lands.

"We are not created as mascots for the public consumption. We are 154 distinct Indigenous sovereign nations in California, more than any other state.  Today we stand together in protest of the mascot images of our people, along with human rights activists and others who believe Native Americans deserve the right to determine how our culture and identity is represented in the media” states Chochenyo Ohlone activist Corrina Gould.

Prior to the march, Gould will offer a traditional Ohlone welcoming during a prayer gathering near Ulistac Natural Area, an Ohlone sacred site located about a mile from the stadium.  According to Gould, Ulistac is actually an old Ohlone language place name— Uli being an Ohlone warrior who inhabited the area, stac meaning place/land. Following the prayer gathering, the crowd will be marching to Levi’s Stadium to hold a press conference and rally.

“We stress that  by changing the name and mascot, we are working to address systematic oppression, colonialism, and racism”, stated Morning Star Gali, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Pit River Tribe and co-chair of the Bay Area Coalition Against Racism in Sports. The term “Redskin” is derogatory. It refers to scalp hunting which was the basis for the wars against  Indigenous Peoples  across the continent into the late nineteenth century.  “The offensive team name is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ongoing racism directed at Native Americans. It's an uphill battle to carry on our ways of life in the face of pop culture myths about who we are and who we are supposed to be as Indigenous people today.”

“The NFL leadership cannot continue to ignore our voice or the fact that Native American themed mascots harm Native American youth." Student  Dahkota Brown 16, Wilton Miwok tribal member added, “It is our duty to protect our identity for this generation, and the many generations to come.”

“We are people of many nations. We celebrate our rich traditions and a beautiful culture. The ways our people are portrayed in sports and media must come to an end as we are NOT a mascot nor a Halloween costume. These mascots are not neutral. They harm and endanger our youth and degrade our community.” Kris Road Traveler Longoria, an enrolled member of the Caddo Nation, Cheyenne Arapaho and Co-Founder/Co-Chair of Bay Area Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media. Kris will be moderating Sunday’s press conference.

Over 40 years ago, the National Congress of American Indians launched a campaign against derogatory stereotypes in media and sports, eventually leading to the “Change the Mascot" campaign. “Change the Name! Change the Mascot" is a grassroots movement with wide-ranging support by state and national legislators, dozens of religious and secular organizations, plus media and sports icons including NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw, Larry King, Former NFL Coach Tony Dungy and NBC Sports Reporter Bob Costas.

Who: The SF Bay Area has historic ties to the Indigenous rights movement, many who will be representing at the press conference.  A list of speakers include Corrina Gould, Anthony Sul & Wicahpiluta Candelaria, Ohlone; Kris Road Traveler Longoria, Caddo Nation and Cheyenne Arapaho;  Morning Star Gali, Ajumawi Band of Pit River; Dahkota Kicking Bear Brown, Wilton Miwok; Jacqueline Keeler, Navajo & Yankton Dakota; Michael Horse Bill Means, AIM; Clyde Bellecourt, AIM; Lenny Foster, AIM; Fred Short, AIM; Charlene Teters, Lakota Harden; and more!

Bay Area Coalition Against Racism in Sports is sponsored by American Indian Movement-West, Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits, Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, Indian People Organizing for Change, Sacred Sites Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes, ANSWER COALITION, Idle No More SF Bay, and National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.  National ‘Change the Mascot’ supporters can be found at:

#NotYourMascot #ChangeTheName #ChangeTheMascot #NoHonorInRacism

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