MINNEAPOLIS — Thousands of American Indians are expected to attend the “Change the Mascot” rally, one of the largest sports rallies this season, on Sunday, November 2, 2014, in Minneapolis as the Minnesota Vikings play the Washington NFL franchise team at TCF Stadium.
The protesters will be there in support of changing the racist name of the Washington team. American Indians across Indian Country are calling for the team franchise to drop the “R”-word for its name. The R-word is just as derogatory to many American Indians as the N-word is to African Americans.
“Native mascots perpetuate social injustice, reinforce stereotypes, and lead to discrimination and disregard of Indigenous peoples in America and globally,” according to Not Your Mascots, a newly formed non-profit organization committed to addressing the misappropriation of Indigenous identity and imagery.
Joining the Native protesters and their allies outside the stadium will be U.S. Representative Betty McCollum, who represents Minnesota’s Fourth Congressional District. Congresswoman McCollum co-chairs the Native American Congressional Caucus and has been a vocal advocate in Congress calling for the name change.
Two separate marches will take place in prior to the 10:00 a.m. rally at south side of TCF Stadium. Beginning at 8:30 a.m. marchers will gather at American Indian OIC, located at 1845 Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis. Another march will begin at Northrup Auditorium, University of Minnesota at 9:00 a.m., located at 84 Church Street, S.E. in Minneapolis.
Both marches will convene to become a united force at TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota at 10:00 a.m.
Speakers include Amanda Blackhorse, Winona LaDuke, Billy Mills, Clyde Bellecourt, Patricia Shepard, among many others.