As some of you know, The Washington Post recently ran a story on Thursday about a poll of 504 people which indicated that 90% of Native Americans are not offended by the Washington Redskins name.
Shortly after the article, I tweeted the hashtag #IAmNativeIWasNotAsked, which trended on Thursday night.
[POLL NOW CLOSED] (Don't have a Twitter account? Everyone is invited (even if you have answered the Twitter poll) to answer this survey of nine questions, which is identical to the Washington Post’s poll.)
In my career of approximately 12 years as a journalist, book author, speaker, author and now as Arts and Entertainment, Sports and Pow Wow’s editor for Indian Country Today Media Network, I am constantly hearing the voices in Indian Country.
In my experience over the past decade and more having attended pow wows, tribal gatherings, protests, political events, school events, visited reservations and more – and based on all those conversations, I don’t believe the Washington Post poll is an accurate reflection of Indian country.
It’s true that some Native people say they are not offended by the Redskins name, but in my experience, they are rare. I have also been told on numerous occasions where I was asked to appear on television, online or on national radio to discuss the Redskins, the organizers and producers had an extremely difficult time finding a Native person who approved of the Redskins name.
The Washington Post says they spoke to a random selection of 504 Native American people. In a country with 567 federally recognized reservations (and the multitude of State or unrecognized tribes) this roughly equates to less than one person per federally recognized tribe.
According to the Post’s numbers, available here interestingly, the percentages reflected in 2016 are identical to the poll numbers from the National Annenberg Election Survey from 2004.
A Twitter Poll
I know this is not “scientific,” or acceptable standards for a national poll, but a simple Twitter poll I created Thursday evening at 11:59 pm est generated 200 responses in just a few hours. As of Friday afternoon, 83% of those people say they are offended by the Redskins name.
If you have a Twitter account, please vote – and please share for others to vote.
Follow Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) - ICMN’s Arts and Entertainment, Pow Wows and Sports Editor - Follow @VinceSchilling
Note: Everyone was invited to answer this survey of nine questions, which was identical to the Washington Post’s poll.