Housing Secretary Julián Castro – Photo by Rhonda LeValdo
CRYSTAL CITY, VIRGINIA— Housing Secretary Julián Castro received much applause when he called the Washington NFL football team’s “offensive” on Saturday.
Castro comments to the Native American Journalists Association’s Native News Media Conference came during the question-and-answer after prepared remarks dealing with housing issues impacting American Indians and Alaska Natives.
“I very much agree that the name is offensive,” Castro told the Native journalists.
Castro applauded this past week’s federal district court ruling that ordered the cancellation of the Washington NFL team’s name.
As he discussed the team’s offensive name, he said mentioned he and his staff watched the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina Capitol grounds on Friday.
“There’s a feeling in our nation that there’s this moment, this window of opportunity, to address these deep-seated challenges, these wounds that we’ve had, certainly with the African American community, but also with the Native American community. My hope is that that may mold change,” Castro said.
“It was good to hear someone who will work with Indian Country in housing issues shows his support in wanting name change,” commented Rhonda LeValdo (Acoma Pueblo), who teaches Media Communications at Haskell Indian Nations University.
During his speech, Castro highlighted the Obama administration’s commitment to improve housing needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Since taking over the helm at HUD, Castro said Housing has increased its proposed spending in Native American communities increase by more than $25 million than the previous year’s request bringing the total to $748 million.