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Deb Haaland, the Interior secretary, runs to honor Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Deb Haaland, the Interior secretary, runs to honor Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Deb Haaland, President Biden’s secretary of the Interior, was among this year’s more recognizable amateur runners.

Haaland wrote in an opinion article for The Boston Globe that she was running the marathon, which is taking place on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, as a tribute to “missing and murdered Indigenous peoples and their families, the victims of Indian boarding schools, and the promise that our voices are being heard and will have a part in an equitable and just future in this new era.”

Squaw Valley Ski Resort Has a New Name

Squaw Valley Ski Resort Has a New Name

The legendary California ski resort formerly known as Squaw Valley officially has a new name as of this week: Palisades Tahoe. The name comes from a storied zone on the mountain, a steep, chute-riddled area above its Siberia chairlift, that has been the focus of many classic ski movies, dating back to the era of pioneering freeskiers like Scot Schmidt and Shane McConkey.

New for ’22: Meet the Cleveland Guardians

New for ’22: Meet the Cleveland Guardians

The Cleveland MLB team officially has its new name.

The team announced Friday morning that it will be changing its name from the Cleveland Indians to the Cleveland Guardians through a video posted to its Twitter account. The name will begin to go into effect following the conclusion of the 2021 season.

Nevada passes law that bans racially discriminatory school mascots and ‘sundown sirens’

Nevada passes law that bans racially discriminatory school mascots and ‘sundown sirens’

The state of Nevada is banning “racially discriminatory” school mascots after legislation was signed into law on Friday, as well as banning town sirens historically used to discriminate.

Gov. Steve Sisolak was joined by members of the Nevada Indian Commission and tribal elders during the signing. Assembly Bill 88 specifically prohibits using “a name, logo, mascot, song or other identifier associated with the Confederate States of America or a federally recognized Indian tribe,” except when a tribe has specifically given a school permission to do so.
Revisiting One of the Greatest Protests in Oscars History

Revisiting One of the Greatest Protests in Oscars History

One of the most controversial and memorable political moments in Oscars history occurred back in 1973, when Marlon Brando won the best-actor award for his performance in The Godfather. Instead of accepting his trophy, he used the moment as a form of protest. Brando enlisted Sacheen Littlefeather, an Indigenous (Apache and Yaqui) actor and activist, to appear on his behalf and to refuse his Oscar onstage—a bold move that shocked the 85 million viewers at home as well as the audience.

Aunt Jemima Has a New Name After 131 Years: The Pearl Milling Company

Aunt Jemima Has a New Name After 131 Years: The Pearl Milling Company

The change has been in the works since last June after the killing of George Floyd catalyzed widespread protests over racial injustice and a nationwide reckoning over symbols of the Old South and their meaning. Several large food companies came under fire for using racial stereotypes

Press Coverage

Witness the films traction, as several news outlets, subject matter experts and concerned citizens voice their support.

What Winning Should Really Look Like for the Washington Football Team

While the Washington Football Team’s NFC East championship and team owner Dan Snyder’s decision to rename the franchise (though only after succumbing to political and investor pressure) are major victories in the fight for dismantling harmful stereotypes, the organization’s underlying sexist culture must still be addressed.

Aviva Kempner and Jessie Atkin discuss the underlying sexist culture in the Washington Football organization and the intersection of sexism and racism across our popular culture.

Imagining the Indian won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Short!

Imagining the Indian won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Short!

Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting was honored to be selected to participate in Film Pittsburgh’s Fall Festival 2020. The virtual festival, which ran November 11th-22nd, featured the newest addition to the Film Pittsburgh family, the Three Rivers Film Festival, along with the highly-regarded Pittsburgh Shorts. Our Work-In-Progress was screened as a part of the Pittsburgh Shorts program, and we are proud to announce that Imagining the Indian won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Short! When we wrap production on the feature length film, we look forward to being a part of this wonderful festival again, and (fingers crossed!) winning Best Documentary Feature!
Racism in Native American Names & Mascots

Racism in Native American Names & Mascots

Studio Sacramento, of PBS KVIE, interviewed a panel, including our own Ben West (co-Director of Imagining the Indian) and Kevin Blackstone (Producer of Imagining the Indian) about the history and prevalence of Native American names and mascots in sports today. You can watch the full segment here.

ESPN – The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap

Kevin Blackistone, the co-producer of an upcoming film about the Washington Redskins and the push to change their name, explains why he has long been an opponent of the Redskins name.

Washington Should Avoid ‘Warriors’ or ‘Red Tails’ for New Team Name, ‘Imagining the Indian’ Directors Say

“I hope that it’s done responsibly. I think some of the names being kicked around right now are problematic, and anything including ‘Red’ in it, we need to start with a clean slate here, not try to hang onto any of the holdover from previous names and imagery,” West, a member of the Cheyenne nation, said of some of the popular options being floated around, such as Washington Warriors or Washington Red Tails. “In this case, the obvious problem is that if you replace the current name with that, aren’t all the same people in face paint playing Indian going to continue to do the same thing?”

“It’s time for a reckoning.”

“This is an important subject and an important film.”

“Racial slurs shouldn’t be a regular part of everyday conversations, let alone cherished and institutionalized. It’s time for sports fans to open their eyes.”

Tribal Council

Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation
Northern California

Committed to
Our Mission

Our goal is to raise awareness of the issue of Native American Mascoting, expand the understanding, and appreciation, of Native American culture, and empower a movement towards widespread social sensitivity.

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Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation

Lead Executive Producer  |  Website

Aviva Kempner

Director & Producer  |  View Bio

Ben West

Director & Producer |  View Bio

Sam Bardley

Producer  |  View Bio

Kevin Blackistone

Producer  |  View Bio

Barbara Ballow

Editor  |  View Bio

Yancey Burns

Associate Producer  |  View Bio

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