Native Americans urge Redskin name change

by: Rick Maranon Updated:

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TULSA, Okla. —

Representatives of Tulsa County’s Native American tribes want a name change for the Washington Redskins Football Team. 

A resolution and request for the name change will not go to the Washington Redskins owner himself, but it will go to three prominent associations within the NFL. 

The Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission has representatives from the Cherokee, Osage and Muscogee Creek tribes as well as many Native American organizations that operate in Tulsa County. The commission consists of 5 city of Tulsa appointees and three others appointed by Tulsa County. 

A city secretary told FOX23 that the commission is ready formally sign three resolutions proclaiming their official stance the term redskin is offensive and derogatory to Native Americans and the name of the Washington Redskins football team should be changed immediately to respect their culture and heritage. 

The letters will go to NFL Headquarters President, the NFL Players Association Executive Committee, and the NFL Players Association executive director.

"Name calling is not good. Not professional," said Indian Affairs Commissioner Alice Whitecloud, " and to use another people’s race, when this is not your race, for money making and business is not good either.

The group says the term "Redskin" is similar to the N-word in the African American community.

"The indian natives have been targeted out because we certainly don’t do that with the black people," Whitecloud said. "We don’t make fun of their names, and we don’t use the ugly term that was used for years and years."

Washington Redskins Owner Dan Snyder previously said he will never change the name of the team as long as he owns it. 

The group feels American Indians are closer than ever before in achieving a name change.

"I feel we’re closer than ever," Whitecloud said. "The group that is here started working on this in 2000. We started targeting that school in south Tulsa, and now we feel like we’re finally able to get some help."

In February, Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole sent a letter to Snyder saying now is the time for a name change and called the mascot offensive to American Indian culture.