The Cheyenne River Sioux tribal council voted Wednesday to reject all current and future monetary offers from the Washington NFL team’s Original Americans Foundation.
Council Vice Chairman Ryman LeBeau confirmed in a Facebook post on August 4 that an “action to reject any/all payments from redskins” would be held to a vote Wednesday. LeBeau included a photograph of a check from the Original Americans Foundation made out to Cheyenne River Rodeo Association for $25,000, dated July 10.
Council Vice Chairman Ryman LeBeau posted this update saying “Council passes motion to reject all redskins money.” Photo courtesy Facebook.com.
Wednesday morning, LeBeau posted an update saying “Council passes motion to reject all redskins money.” The motion also specifically required that Chairman Harold Frazier discontinue communicating with the NFL team and anyone associated.
“…motion that the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe reject any and all payments received or payments negotiated from the Washington Redskins and/or their organization the Washington Redskins Original Americans foundation, and that Chairman Harold Frazier and the tribe cease all unsanctioned communication with the Washington Redskins and any group or person associated with them.”
LeBeau specifically mentioned Chairman Frazier and fellow councilman Richard Rousseau in an August 3 Facebook post stating he would vote no on their joint proposal to “sell out our Tribe for Redskins money.”
Team owner Dan Snyder created the Original Americans Foundation in March 2014 to “provide meaningful and measurable resources that provide genuine opportunities for Tribal communities.”
Since its creation, the foundation has yet to disclose any financial information, and the website has not been updated. It has remained largely silent, with the exception of an unnamed team spokesman recently speaking with reporter John Woodrow Cox of The Washington Post, saying that the foundation is currently “spending millions of dollars on nearly 250 projects with more than 50 federally recognized tribes.”
Ben Shelly, previous president of the Navajo Nation, came under fire last October when he was seen wearing team gear at a Cardinals game while sitting in a luxury box.
Shelly is not the only tribal leader to be seen at games sporting the Washington team’s mascot. Gari Lafferty, then-leader of Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, also attended a game last fall, which led to her dismissal at the hands of councilmembers.
Indian Country Today will continue to investigate the details of the Cheyenne River Sioux proposal and vote, as well as pursue further information regarding the Original Americans Foundation.