Tag Archives: American Indian

U.K. Denies Iroquois Lacrosse Team OK to Travel

Monday, July 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) An Iroquois Indian lacrosse team cannot fly to England for what's considered the Olympics of the sport invented by their American ancestors because the U.S. government won't allow them to re-enter the country. The 23 players have passports issued by the Iroquois nation, based on a treaty signed by George Washington. The British are withholding visas for the players, who plan to re-apply for them Monday at the British Consulate in New York

By SAMANTHA GROSS (AP)

NEW YORK — The British government is refusing to allow an American Indian lacrosse team to travel to England using passports issued by the Iroquois Confederacy.

The decision Wednesday means the team will miss a world championship lacrosse competition in Manchester.

A British Consulate spokeswoman says the team would be able to travel only with documents the United Kingdom considers valid.

Tonya Gonnella Frichner, a member of the Onondaga Nation who works with the team, says it was told by British officials that members would have to use American or Canadian passports in order to travel to Britain.

The decision was announced hours after the U.S. cleared the team for travel on a one-time waiver at the behest of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Percy Abrams, Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team board of directors executive director, shows his Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois Confederacy, passport during a news conference in New York, Wednesday, July 14, 2010. The U.S. government on Wednesday agreed to let the Native American lacrosse team travel to England for a tournament under Iroquois Confederacy passports, but their travel plans were still on hold because they lacked visas from Britain and because some players needed clearance from Canada. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

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Gonnella Frichner said the State Department dropped a demand that the team travel using higher-security U.S. passports. The players regard U.S. government-issued documents as an attack on their identity.

The British government had said previously it wouldn’t give the players visas if they could not guarantee they’d be allowed to go home.

U.S. officials previously informed the team that new security rules for international travelers meant that their old passports — low-tech, partly handwritten documents issued by the Iroquois Confederacy of six Indian nations — wouldn’t be honored.

The team needs to get on a Wednesday flight to make a Thursday evening game.

On Tuesday, the 23 members of the New York-based squad arrived at a Delta terminal at Kennedy International Airport wearing team jackets and shirts. Their manager, Ansley Jemison, didn’t expect to be allowed to board their flight to Amsterdam and wasn’t surprised to be turned away at the check-in desk.

But by showing up, the team avoided forfeiting its tickets. Airline officials said they would allow the squad to rebook its flight for Wednesday without penalty if it secured the proper documents, according to Jemison.

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NPR – Ban on Race-Based Team Names

This article was written by Brian Bull for NPR.  Listen/read the story here.

School team nicknames like the Chieftains and Braves may soon be a thing of the past in Wisconsin, where a new law allows the state to ban race-based mascots and logos. If a complaint is upheld, school districts face fines of up to $1,000 a day.  A provision in the law says schools with mascots specifically named after a federally recognized tribe could keep it, if they have that tribe’s permission.

This is a Jay Rosenstein documentary on the use of native images as mascots in American sports. "In Whose Honor?" examines the issues of racism, stereotypes, and the powerful effects of mass-media imagery. It captures the passion and resolve articulated by both sides of this contemporary controversy, and also shows the extent to which one community, that of Champaign, Illinois, will go to defend and justify its mascot. Click to watch a short clip.

It’s been 42 years since the National Congress of American Indians challenged the use of Native American mascots. Today, an estimated 900 high schools and colleges still use Native American names and images for sports teams. And of course, there are the professional teams — the Chicago Blackhawks, Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins, among others.

For decades, Native American civil rights groups have called on these teams to change their names. They’ve had little success. But Dave Czesniuk, of the Boston-based group Sport in Society, thinks the Wisconsin law may turn out to be a game-changer.

“I think what’s going on in Wisconsin is exciting, and it’s a true sign of real change,” he says. “You know, social responsibility is on the rise, even in the ranks of professional sports and the corporate level.”

Czesniuk says attitudes have changed since the 1970s, when an estimated 3,000 schools and colleges had Indian mascots. He says the key to making the case is teaching team officials and fans how they perpetuate stereotypes and hurt some Native Americans.

Check out the video clip from the documentary, In Whose Honor? above to learn a little more about this debate.

These links are from the documentary’s website:

Links to other mascot resources:

Links to other American Indian video resources:

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