Snyder: Redskins to assist Native Americans

In this Oct. 12, 2008 file photo, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is seen before a game against the St. Louis Rams game in Landover, Md.
In this Oct. 12, 2008 file photo, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is seen before a game against the St. Louis Rams game in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

GREEN BAY – A professional football team with a name some say is insensitive to Native Americans is planning to offer support to the tribes.

The Washington Redskins have created a new foundation. Oneida Tribal Councilman Brandon Stevens believes the Redskins are taking a step in the right direction, but he says the team is on the losing end of a publicity battle.

“This organization, over the past 80 years, has profited over the disparity and negative imagery of the Native American population. This foundation is basically just a drop in the bucket of what they’ve earned on top of that,” said Stevens.

In a letter to fans of the Redskins, Daniel Snyder says his team “must do more” to give back Native Americans.

Snyder says the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation will provide resources that create “genuine opportunities.”

The Redskins organization has faced pressure to change its name. When the team played in Green Bay last September, some fans held signs in protest.

Snyder says there are thousands of fans across the country who support the name, and he has given no indication the name will change.

As for the new foundation, the letter did not describe how much money it will give out and how.

FOX 11 wanted to ask the foundation about its plans and its finances, but calls requesting an interview were not returned.

Stevens says his tribe would not accept money from the foundation, but it would not look down on tribes that do.

“Give need to those tribes that desperately need the funding for certain things just for basic needs,” he said.

Snyder says he and his staff visited 26 reservations over the last four months. He describes what he’s seen as “heart wrenching.”

FOX 11 also reached out to the Menominee tribe. The tribe said it’s too soon to comment about the foundation, but it hopes to continue the discussion about mascots.

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