Indian Tribe Leader Ousted For Taking Gifts From Redskins Owner
A tribal leader in Utah was relieved from her duties Thursday after she accepted gifts from a non-profit foundation linked to the Washington Redskins.
The chairwoman of the Paiute Indian tribe based in Cedar City, Utah, was accused of misrepresenting her tribe and engaging in ethical violations when she accepted a trip to Washington to attend a Redskins game last year and got an autographed football from Robert Griffin III. Her tribal council members voted unanimously to remove Gari Lafferty from her position.
Lafferty told The Assoiated Press the tribal council was aware of the gifts she took from the Redskins, which occurred six months ago when the tribe responded to a survey from the team’s Original Americans Foundation. The survey included questions about tribal needs and feelings about the Redskins team name.
The foundation has offered gifts to dozens of tribes across the country, including playgrounds, vans, shoes and other types of clothing. Many of the tribes reside in very rural areas and are in need of help. The Paiute tribe received three vans from the foundation.
In the AP interview, Lafferty said the team never asked her to endorse the Redskins name and the tribe has no official position on the name, but personally she doesn’t have a problem with it.
The Redskins name has been cause for controversy, with advocates for the team’s name change saying the stereotype of American Indians is offensive and inappropriate for a national football team.
A ruling from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office stripped away the team’s trademark on the Redskins name, making it possible for others to use the team name with no consequence.
President Barack Obama also voiced his displeasure with the team, saying that if he were the owner of the team he would change the name because it “was offending a sizable group of people.”
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