Last week, National Football League’s (NFL) Commissioner Roger Goodell wore a medallion with the logo of the 7G Foundation, while announcing the Minnesota Vikings first round draft pick. 

The 7G Foundation was invited by Goodell to attend this year’s event in Las Vegas and as a sign of appreciation, the organization gifted the NFL commissioner a star quilt made by Oglala Lakota Bessie Ann Ihanbla. They also gave a 7G Foundation hoodie and a woven medallion with 7G Foundation’s logo. The medallion was gifted to Goodell by Edward Hill, son of 7G Foundation’s founder Bennae Calac, who earned it in his participation in the 2nd Indigenous Bowl, an all-star football game that features football players recommended by their coaches from all over Indian Country, in 2018. 

7G Foundation is also the organizer of the Indigenous Bowl.

Hill asked the NFL commissioner if he’d be willing to wear the medallion during the NFL draft. According to 7G Director of Media and External Relations Michael Stopp, Goodell told him he was going to wear the medallion during the Minnesota Vikings’ first round draft pick.

Never miss Indian Country’s biggest stories and breaking news. Sign up to get our reporting sent straight to your inbox every weekday morning. 

“We weren’t sure he was actually going to do it,” Stopp told Native News Online. “We were so excited that he followed through with his word.” 

“That medallion is a symbol of our organization,” 7G Foundation’s Founder and Executive Director Bennae Calac told Native News Online. “It’s also a symbol of discussions we’ve had with Roger Goodell and his staff, about diversification of the NFL from vendors to the executive office.”

“The NFL has become a real partner with 7G and we look forward to growing that relationship,” said Calac. 

Last December, the Minnesota Vikings hosted the 4th Annual Indigenous Bowl at U.S. Bank Stadium—home of the Minnesota Vikings—in downtown Minneapolis. 

7G Foundation is hosting an all-star baseball game, Native American All-Star Showcase, in partnership with the Atlanta Braves. The event will feature some of Indian Country’s most talented and ambitious student athletes along with Major League Baseball (MLB) coaches, players, and executives. The event will feature training and tips by professionals in the sports industry including tours of facilities, presentations by executives and team building with some of the top baseball players in Indian Country. 

The Native American All-Star Showcase is scheduled for July 16. 


More Stories Like This

Here’s What’s Going On in Indian Country: Oct. 7-16
Suspect in Museum of Plains Indian Theft Pleads Guilty
Navajo Artist Partners with Nalgene Water Fund on Water Bottle Design
Actress Sacheen Littlefeather, Who Represented Marlon Brando's Rejection of the Oscar, Has Walked On
Kevin Locke, Lakota Flute Player, Hoop Dancer, and Cultural Ambassador, Walks On at 68

Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news? 

For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.  Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10.  Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news. 

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Author: Darren ThompsonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Darren Thompson (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe) is a staff reporter for Native News Online who is based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Thompson has reported on political unrest, tribal sovereignty, and Indigenous issues for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Indian Country Today, Native News Online, Powwows.com and Unicorn Riot. He has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Voice of America on various Indigenous issues in international conversation. He has a bachelor’s degree in Criminology & Law Studies from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.