Other Key Resources
Partner Resolutions and Statements
Key NCAI Resources
NCAI's Longstanding Opposition to Harmful "Indian" Sports Mascots
As the nation’s oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native advocacy organization, NCAI has long held a clear position against derogatory and harmful stereotypes of Native people – including sports mascots – in media and popular culture. Since NCAI launched its campaign to address stereotypes of Native people in popular culture, media, and sports in 1968, significant progress has been made in pursuit of ending the era of "Indian" mascots.
NCAI's position is clear, longstanding, and deeply rooted in our 77 years as a leading voice for Indian Country – we advocate for and protect the civil rights, social justice, and racial equity of all Native people in all parts of American society.
NCAI's Work to End "Indian" Mascots
NCAI is the oldest, largest, and most representative national organization that shares the unified voice of hundreds of Tribal Nations representing millions of Native people, and that voice has been consistent and clear for decades: sports mascots are symbols of disrespect that degrade, mock, and harm Native people, in particular Native youth. NCAI’s work to end “Indian” or Native “themed” mascots, used interchangeably here, is guided by our numerous resolutions pertaining to cultural appropriation and the harmful effects of these mascots. For decades, NCAI largely focused its efforts on ending “Indian” mascots at the professional level, directing specific attention to the former mascot of the NFL’s Washington Football Team. In 2020, NCAI formally expanded the initiative to include work at the K-12 level, which included the development of the . In 2021, NCAI further expanded the initiative to include work at the state level, developing a State Activity Tracker and engaging directly with state legislatures pursuing mascot bans through legislation.
NCAI’s Ending “Indian” Mascots initiative currently focuses on three primary levels: the K-12 school level, the state level, and the professional sports level.
To request NCAI’s help at the K-12 or state levels, please email .
Archive of NCAI News & Updates
December 14, 2020
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) commends today’s announcement by the Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise in Cleveland to retire its “Indians” name and mascot, which the team has used for more than a century.
September 10, 2020
NCAI views the Kansas City Chiefs' announced modifications as positive yet modest initial steps in a long and ongoing educational process that ultimately will lead to comprehensive change, change that respects the humanity, diversity, resiliency, and vibrancy of tribal nations, cultures, and peoples.
July 13, 2020
"Today is a day for all Native people to celebrate. We thank the generations of tribal nations, leaders, and activists who worked for decades to make this day possible. We commend the Washington NFL team for eliminating a brand that disrespected, demeaned, and stereotyped all Native people, and we call on all other sports teams and corporate brands to retire all caricatures of Native Americans that they use as their mascots."
July 3, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC | Today, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) welcomed the Washington NFL team’s announcement this morning of its plan to conduct a “thorough review” of the team’s name and mascot, which represents an important breakthrough for Indian Country in its longstanding effort to change the name and mascot.
July 2, 2020
NCAI Commends Leadership of FedEx in Taking Stand Against the Washington NFL Team’s Racial Slur Mascot, Calls on League’s Other Sponsors and Retailers to Join Movement
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) commends this evening’s formal request by FedEx asking the Washington NFL team to “change the team name.” FedEx’s announcement is particularly noteworthy given that the company is the stadium sponsor of the Washington NFL team, and FedEx CEO Fred Smith owns a minority ownership stake in the team.
June 15, 2020
NCAI Commends DC Mayor Bowser’s Call for Washington NFL Team to Change Its Name and Mascot, Appeals to State and Local Officials and Corporations to Do the Same
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) commends the public statement of Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who declared Friday in referring to the “R*dskins” name and mascot of the Washington NFL team that “it’s past time for the team to deal with what offends so many people.”
October 8, 2019
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country, applauds today’s vote by the Washington, D.C. City Council to celebrate Monday, October 14, 2019 as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the Nation’s Capital, replacing Columbus Day.
August 13, 2019
“This new poll, which purports to survey individuals who self-identify as Native Americans with no ability to confirm their identity, is equally as flawed and unreliable as the Washington Post’s 2016 poll. It proves nothing, nor does it absolve the NFL of its moral obligation to discard the longstanding symbol of racism and division that serves as the mascot of its Washington franchise,” said Kevin Allis, CEO of the National Congress of American Indians.
May 22, 2019
August 24, 2018
Leading National Civil Rights and Racial Justice Organizations Announce Joint Opposition to Washington NFL Team Locating New Stadium in District of Columbia
WASHINGTON, DC | Today, nine leading national civil rights and racial justice organizations formally announced their joint opposition to the Washington National Football League (NFL) team locating its new stadium in the District of Columbia unless the team agrees to drop the “R-word” racial slur as its mascot.