Honest Engine (mascot)

If the Redskins Name is Racist, What About Honest Engine?


Ryan Burns / Today @ 4:03 p.m. / Business , Media

The Internet is abuzz today with news that the U.S. Patent Office has canceled several trademarks belonging to, as John Oliver calls it, “the-football-team-for-some-reason-not-yet-formerly-known-as the Washington Redskins.” The patent office ruled that the term “redskins” is “disparaging to Native Americans.”

The move comes — coincidentally it would seem — at the crest of a wave of public backlash. Last month 50 U.S. senators wrote a letter urging team owner Daniel Snyder to change the name, and President Obama recently suggested the same thing. (Snyder has vowed repeatedly that he’ll never do so.)

Anyway, all this hubbub got us thinking about a certain auto repair shop near Costco in Eureka.

Honest Engine has been in business since our nation’s bicentennial, and lest you miss the pun, its logo features an “injun” in a feather headdress — an apparent riff on the old Indian Head penny.

Is that racist? In our experience, opinions locally range from totally blasé (“Meh, I never even thought about it.”) to fairly incredulous (“How can they still have that name?!”).

While the phrase “honest injun” is arguably less incendiary than “redskins,” it has nonetheless caused offense in the past. Four years ago, for example, then-Republican National Chairman Michael Steele dropped an “honest injun” during an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, prompting the last living founding member of Chicago’s American Indian Center to ask, “How can you be so stupid?”

According to the Chicago Tribune, “She said that ‘injun’ is one of two words — the other is ‘squaw’ — that should never be used because they are throwbacks to a time when Native Americans were defined almost exclusively by negative stereotypes. (Also, this happened.)

In his 1994 book Watch Your Language! Mother Tongue and Her Wayward Children, the late (and notably white) English professor Robert M. Gorrell says the term is “probably offensive” in origin but has since become “relatively harmless, like honest to gosh or honest to goodness.” His use of “probably” here is a bit curious given his account of the term’s origin: “Honest injun goes back to the eighteenth century,” Gorrell says, “when it began as sarcasm based on the notion that an honest Indian was a rarity.”


We tried and failed today to reach Honest Engine owner Robert Neely. We’ll update if and when we hear from him.

The more lighthearted folks online today are having fun suggesting new names for the Redskins. So how about it, LoCOtariat? Any good auto shop name ideas?

If you want to talk with the Honest Engine Shop about their logo choice their email is: honestengineman@yahoo.com

Please use email as they are a business and we do not want to dominate their phones

Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry Press Release (mascot)


For more information contact:

Jacqueline Keeler

Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry



Native Americans Celebrate USPTO’s Cancellation of Trademark for Redskins, a Derogatory Slur

Washington, DC – Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, a group of Native parents and their allies from across the country celebrate today the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s cancellation of six trademarks for the Washington NFL franchise of the name “Redskins.” We fully support and thank them for recognizing the word as a derogatory slur and “disparaging to Native Americans.” We look forward to the team’s selection of a new mascot and name that unites, instead of divides the American people and proudly represents in our nation’s capital the respect we as American people strive to show to all American people of all ethnic backgrounds.

EONM would also like to recognize the work of Suzan Shown Harjo (Muscogee Creek ) a long-time activist with the Morningstar Foundation on this issue who pursued this trademark case for 22 years since the original filing of the first trademark case she brought against the Washington Redsk*ns in 1992.  She persevered after her first successful suit was repealed on a technicality (not the merits of the case) the age of one of the defendants and filed this second suit. Now after two decades, the USPTO has finally come down on the side of what is right and it is about time.

We would also like to recognize the plaintiffs in the lawsuit both past and present. Thank you for standing up for our people and bringing about the end of a racial slur being used to market a professional, national sports team.

We also call upon Nike, Adidas and other sports apparel manufacturers to stop selling products with the Redsk*ns logo on them and to reconsider their position on sales of other offensive Native mascots like the equally derogatory and grotesque caricature of Chief Wahoo used to market the Cleveland Indians Major League Baseball team.

We also call upon Redsk*ns-Fed Ex Field to rename the stadium in light of the USPTO’s ruling.

We also found the arguments put forward by the Washington, DC NFL franchise in the trademark case disingenuous. The term Redsk*ns may seem to refer to people in the DC area only to football but this speaks to the elimination of Native voices in the community through the historical fact of genocide. It has only been through the advent of social media and the work of the 900+ Native members and their allies of EONM that many of the team’s fans have ever even spoken to a Native person about how they feel about the name. Citing our elimination from the American consciousness because of genocide is not an acceptable argument to continued use of a slur.

All in all this is a great day for greater equality for all Americans in the United States and will help the next generation of Native youth to feel more included in American society and increase their chances of success in it (see the work of Dr. Stephanie Fryberg on harm of Native mascots). We hope that Americans will take the time to learn more about real Native Americans’ lives and include a greater variety of depictions of us in it. The pigeon-holing and stale stereotypes must be put aside for greater sharing and understanding and for the betterment of our civil society as a whole. Once a new name is chosen Native Americans look forward to attending and cheering not only the football team, but the people of Washington, DC and their choice to hear Native people’s concerns.


Canceling Trademark (mascot)


The United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the Washington Redskins trademark registration, calling the football team’s name “disparaging to Native Americans.”

The landmark case, which appeared before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, was filed on behalf of five Native Americans. It was the second time such a case was filed.

“This victory was a long time coming and reflects the hard work of many attorneys at our firm,” said lead attorney Jesse Witten, of Drinker Biddle & Reath.

Federal trademark law does not permit registration of trademarks that “may disparage” individuals or groups or “bring them into contempt or disrepute.” The ruling pertains to six different trademarks associated with the team, each containing the word “Redskin.”

“We are extraordinarily gratified to have prevailed in this case,” Alfred Putnam Jr., the chairman of Drinker Biddle & Reath, said. “The dedication and professionalism of our attorneys and the determination of our clients have resulted in a milestone victory that will serve as an historic precedent.”


The California-based Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation aired this ad during the recent NBA Finals urging the Washington Redskins to change the team's name. (  / Video courtesy of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation)

The ruling does not mean that the Redskins have to change the name of the team. It does affect whether the team and the NFL can make money from merchandising because it limits the team’s legal options when others use the logos and the name on T shirts, sweatshirts, beer glasses and license plate holders.

In addition, Native Americans have won at this stage before, in 1999. But the team and the NFL won an appeal to federal court in 2009. The court did not rule on the merits of the case, however, but threw it out, saying that the plaintiffs didn’t have standing to file it. The team is likely to make the same appeal this time.

Robert Raskopf, a lawyer who has been representing the team since the first case was filed in 1992, was not concerned about the ruling.

“We’ve seen this story before,” he said. “And just like last time, today’s ruling will have no effect at all on the team’s ownership of and right to use the Redskins name and logo.

“We are confident we will prevail once again, and that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s divided ruling will be overturned on appeal. This case is no different than an earlier case, where the Board cancelled the Redskins’ trademark registrations, and where a federal district court disagreed and reversed the Board.”

Raskopf said the team’s trademark registrations would remain effective during the appeal.

The current lawsuit was brought eight years ago by Amanda Blackhorse, Phillip Glover, Marcus Briggs-Cloud, Jillian Pappan and Courtney Tsotigh.

“It is a great victory for Native Americans and for all Americans,” Blackhorse said in a statement. “I hope this ruling brings us a step closer to that inevitable day when the name of the Washington football team will be changed.”

The Redskins name change controversy has been gathering steam over the past few years. U.S. senators, former and current NFL players and others all have called for team owner Dan Snyder to change the name.

Snyder has steadfastly refused to consider a name change, saying the name and logo honor Native Americans.

Snyder declined to comment as he left the practice field at Redskins Park, the team’s training facility in Ashburn, following a morning practice Wednesday at an offseason minicamp. Snyder did not verbally acknowledge a reporter’s question on the the ruling, instead waving his hand and continuing to walk.

Team officials said there would be a statement on the ruling later in the day.

Bruce Allen, the team’s president and general manager, said as he walked off the practice field Wednesday: “When the statement comes out, you’ll get it.”

Asked whether the Redskins believe they can continue to use their team name under the circumstances, Allen said: “Did you read it?... We’re fine. We’re fine.”

But Gabriel Feldman, the director of the sports law program at Tulane University, said it’s possible the ruling could affect the view that league officials and owners of other NFL franchises have of the matter. The sport’s revenue-sharing system gives them all a stake.

“It’s a great question to raise,” Feldman said. “Maybe this is the tipping point for the rest of the league. This is a unique business.”

Staff writer Mark Maske contributed to this story.

Suzan Shown Harjo (mascot/profile)

The woman who was the driving force behind the cases that led the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office to cancel the federal trademarks for the Washington Redskins Wednesday is 69-year-old grandmother and longtime Native American activist, Suzan Harjo. 

"Suzan has been fighting this since 1992. Native American people have been fighting this since 1972. ... The reason it has come up recently is because Suzan has worked really hard to bring this in the public eye," Amanda Blackhorse, one of the five Native American plaintiffs in the case filed before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, told Business Insider.

"She's just a tremendous woman. She's a strong Native American woman, and I'm so happy to have met her and to have been a part of all this because this is what we need to do," Blackhorse added. 

Harjo was born in Oklahoma and is of Cheyenne and Muscogee ancestry. In a conversation with Business Insider shortly after the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office's decision was announced, Harjo said she became involved with political activism while she was still in school.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/meet-the-native-american-grandmother-who-just-beat-the-redskins-2014-6#ixzz35189CVJg

The Actual Database (education/resource)


As a collection of general Americana, the Newberry’s Edward E. Ayer Collection is one of the best in the country and one of the strongest collections on American Indians in the world.

In 1911, Edward E. Ayer (1841-1927) donated more than 17,000 pieces on the early contacts between American Indians and Europeans. Ayer, a member of the first Board of Trustees, was the first donor of a great collection to the Newberry. Since then, the Ayer endowment fund has enabled the library to collect in excess of 130,000 volumes, over 1 million manuscript pages, 2,000 maps, 500 atlases, 11,000 photographs, and 3,500 drawings and paintings on the subject.

The D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies enacts programming, including fellowships and seminars, that allows participants to draw from the Newberry’s collections in their research. 

The Ayer Collection is rich in printed and manuscript accounts of the discovery, exploration, and settlement of the Americas. While the nucleus of the Ayer Collection consists of an extensive body of literature that concerns the American Indian directly, there are five main subject areas within Ayer:

Newberry librarians and interns have compiled Research Guides containing bibliographies, checklists, and other resources helpful in directing research in certain subjects at the Newberry; a few closely related collection descriptions are Latin American HistoryPortuguese and Brazilian HistoryPhilippine History, and French in the Americas.  All the research guides relating to American Indian and Indigenous Studies are found below; relevant digital collections, such as theAyer Art Digital CollectionGreat Lakes Digital Collection, and North American Indian Photographs Collection, are also found at the bottom of this page.

Ayer Collection acquisitions are listed in the Newberry’s Online Catalog and in WorldCat. In addition, Ayer Collection acquisitions to 1978 are described in the Dictionary Catalog of the Edward E. Ayer Collection of Americana and American Indians (21 volumes, 1961-1980).  Please call the reference desk at (312) 255-3506 with questions on our holdings, or Contact a Librarianwith research questions.

Read about the modest beginnings of this great collection in Edward E. Ayer’s “How I Bought My First Book”

The Birth of a Database (education/resource)

... Our relationship with Chicago’s Newberry Library began in 2006 when we were developing the American West resource. We have spent the last few years evolving a new collection called American Indian Histories and Cultures, centering on the Newberry’s renowned Edward E. Ayer collection, one of the world’s strongest resources available on American Indian history. 

Full article at: http://reviews.libraryjournal.com/2014/06/reference/the-birth-of-a-database/

Saving Aymara (language)

‘Our language is our soul’: saving Aymara

By Alexia Kalaitzi
Published on June 17, 2014

‘Could you imagine yourself speaking a language, your mother tongue, at home and then going to school and learning a foreign language? It is a big shock,’ says Ruben Hilare, an activist from the Bolivian indigenous community of Aymara, trying to describe the reality of many children in the community.

Aymara is a language as well as a people: it is a native American language spoken by over a million people in Bolivia and several large communities in Peru, Chile and Argentina. Although it is an official language in Bolivia, it is underrepresented in the public sphere, where Spanish dominates. The only media sources exclusively in Aymara are a handful of television shows and radio programmes, while the language is taught at school for only an hour a week. 

Until recently, Aymara did not have an online presence, either. But this is changing. Ruben Hilare and other community members are making an effort to save their language and promote it on the internet, establishing a virtual community called Jaqi Aru. 

CoLang 2014 (language)

CoLang 2014 works to revive indigenous languages

Tanasia Curtis The Shorthorn staff For people who have a passion for Native American languages or cultures, there is an institute dedicated to protecting these languages.The Institute on Collaborative Language Research is a language-training institute focused on achieving indigenous language documentation, preservation, maintenance and revival of languages, CoLang director Colleen Fitzgerald said.“There’s two sides. One is getting as much of the language as you can, while you are still able to, and then the other one is taking that knowledge about the language and putting it back into the community to teach those languages and help communities keep the language going,” Fitzgerald said.Access full article below: