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NMAI draws capacity crowd to symposium on Indian mascots

The National Museum of the American Indian drew a large crowd to Washington, D.C., on Thursday for a symposium on Indian mascots.

The local Washington Redskins was a frequent topic of discussion. Panelists said the team's name was a racial slur that should be eliminated.

“There’s certain words you can’t cover up and hide,” said former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colorado), a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. “They’re wrong to the beginning and they’re wrong to the end.”

The overwhelming majority of schools, universities and educational institutions with Indian mascots have stopped using offensive imagery. The Washington team remains one of the major holdouts, with owner Dan Snyder refusing to budge.

Lobbying the NFL -- whose organization is paying to defend the name from legal challenges -- might help, panelists and attendees suggested. Others proposed talking to individual players and reaching out to young, impressionable supporters of the team.

Archived video of the symposium can be viewed at

Get the Story:
Redskins name change demanded at Smithsonian forum (The Washington Post 2/8)
Redskins nickname takes a beating at Smithsonian symposium on racist stereotypes in sports (AP 2/7)
Redskins name deemed ‘racial slur’ as Smithsonian panelists discuss stereotypes in sports (AP 2/7)

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NMAI's Indian mascot symposium tackles controversial topic (2/7)
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Blog: Mayor of Washington DC refuses to use 'Redskins' name (2/6)
Agenda for symposium on Indian mascots in sports at NMAI (2/4)
Washington mayor supports elimination of 'Redskins' mascot (01/10)
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