Native Teen Addresses Redskins Debate on MSNBC

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown August 3rd, 2014 Last Updated on: August 3rd, 2014

Dakhota Brown, a 15-year-old Native American (Wilton Miwok) high school student, joins José Díaz-Balart of MSNBC to explain why the “Redskins” mascot is hurtful and insensitive to the people they claim to be celebrating.

Dahkota Brown was one of the youth chosen for the 2013 Champions for Change program. Keep up the good work Dahkota!

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About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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Jordan mcgeshick

Im sorry, but that was hilarious how the reporter introduced ‘Dakota Franklin RunningBear Brown’ with some weird accent when they’re all english words. He tried to roll his tongue on Franklin haha oh wow.

Ken farve

This is a real issue for Native Americans. Its not about being whiny, it’s about standing up for ourselves. For too long we have kept quiet but not anymore. Our voices are being heard. Some people like it and some don’t. To them I say deal with it. We are here and we are not going away. Some say we have other issues to solve than messing with their football team. Well the first step in resolving these “real” issues we must address how society views us and change the perception from these stereotypes.Then and only then can we move to the other issues facing native communities. By the way, there is not one football team that has been here as long as we have. So a team name cannot even closely compared to the traditions and culture of the native people.

Mark Walker

Lenicus Sedaria, are you Effin serious??? Equate being Native in this country to Being a NAZI???? A political group that killed millions of people to a RACE of people who died by the millions and had their/OUR Land, and in many cases our Traditions and Languages TAKEN from us by Force??? Are you serious???? What PLANET are you from???
Why be proud my ancestors were THE ORIGINAL inhabitants of this land? Because they showed respect to that land and all the creatures that lived on it. Its YOUR people who have been destroying it ever since they GOT HERE!
And since you are so ignorant about the subject, the Mascot is just the TIP of the issue. Calling me a “Redskin” is like you calling Snoop Dog a Nigger… go ahead and do that to his face… YOUR kids dont grow up seeing their culture and traditions being Mocked on National television by sports teams all OVER this country by EVERY other race that came here and lives on land stolen from their ancestors.
YOUR kids dont NEED a “HISTORY month” because its ONLY YOUR history that gets taught in schools.
And finally white people aren’t “Persecuted”… That is something only the group with power can do, that only that group that is the MAJORITY can do… And apparently you have no idea that white people out number all other races in this country by 20 to 1. Get a freaking grip on REALITY. Or maybe go back to school and get your GED.

Phil Shebola

To really understand the racism associated with the mascot issue, a person needs to know the complete history of how the “R-word” originated and where it came from. I’ve experienced a lot of racism towards my Native ways, beliefs and origins ever since I was a teenager. A lot of my Native brothers and sisters don’t experience racism that much because they live their lives mostly on the reservation, where there is hardly any racism. My point is that the history of how and where the “R-word” was created, needs to be included in history classes through out the schools in the United States. I guarantee you if this addition/adjustment was made to history class’s, people will have a completely different perspective of the true meaning of the “R-word”.

Toni Brown

We are extremely proud of all his passions and hard work. Thank you very much for the support! He also entered this original poem for a scholarship as well as hopes to be heard by Dan Snyder and others using Native mascots. It is also on youtube under I am Miwok and his name.

Kim Trujillo

Thank you young man for your strength. Continue to lead for many other Original People.


Sadly only one side is being presented. What’s even more sad is that our people have become so whiny and needy. With more important things facing our nations and all we can focus on is a sports team name? Since when is that more important than poverty,corruption,addictions,spousal abuse, our children being stolen from us. The list goes on and on. This only goes to show how superficial we have become. Our ancestors are shaking their heads in disbelief for what we have become. We have lost our identity and pride.


You say it as if it’s our only focus. You forget that we actually focus on those topics too. Your point is flawed

Kim Trujillo

Yes Rick, only the white side is presented when we are used as mascots along with being called racist names. Only the Original People here do understand the intent of those names.

Lenicus Sedaria

Why must it always come down to race? What does it matter the color of your skin? Why take pride in one color of skin over another? Why would it be right for you to say “I am proud that my ancestors are native americans!” but it would be wrong for me to say “I am proud that my ancestors were Nazis!”? In the end what pride can we claim? it is not as if we lived through the good and the bad of our ancestors. All of this over a Mascot? Why? If we are going to argue being persecuted do to one’s past or skin color why don’t the white people stand up? White people are being judged and persecuted for what their ancestors did. Why don’t they stand up like the native americans and black people? because if they say they are proud to be white it is racist. So if it is right for one group to be proud of their skin color but not another, isn’t that a form of racism? By that logic White people should be able to have a White history month, and be able to protest the use of the pioneer (usually depicted as a white man with a musket) as a mascot. Why do people care so much, why can’t we all just drop the color thing?

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