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Redskins, Chief Wahoo, and Native American imagery in sports

In which Chief Wahoo, "Redskins," high schools and colleges changing their team names are discussed.

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Just before Opening Day, after Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan made comments about moving Chief Wahoo into a secondary role among the team's logos, I wrote about my thoughts on the matter. Longtime member of the Let's Go Tribe family Evan Dawson is the host of a show on NPR's affiliate in Rochester, New York, WXXI. Last week he asked me to be part of a segment on his show, to discuss Chief Wahoo and the use of Native American imagery by sports teams at the professional, collegiate, and high school levels. Michael Galban, curator and content expert for Ganondagan, a cultural center dedicated to the Seneca people, was also a guest on the program. Calls from a handful of listeners were taken as well.

I know many of you on both sides of the debate are tired of discussing it, in large part because it doesn't feel like anyone on the other side is open to having their mind changed. When I wrote about Chief Wahoo this spring, it was the first time I'd done so in a long time, largely for that very reason. I enjoyed having the opportunity to discuss it in a different forum, though, and for a different audience, and for being able to consider aspects of the issue that go beyond just Chief Wahoo.

If you're interested in hearing that discussion and having the opportunity to hear from some voices that aren't found here at Let's Go Tribe, here is a link to the segment. (There's also a handsome picture of Evan, for those of you who want to know match faces with names.)

If you choose to listen and choose to comment on the segment or the issues discussed within, please keep things respectful. As I said on the air, people rarely change their minds when you put them on the defensive, so that shouldn't be your approach.