Retired Patawomeck Chief Would Be 'Offended' if D.C. Team Changes Name

ICTMN Staff
5/29/13

Robert "Two Eagles" Green is the longtime and recently retired chief of the Patawomeck Tribe, a state-recognized tribe in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Today, SiriusXM NFL Radio hosted Green for a discussion on the use of the term redskin by the Washington, D.C., NFL team (listen here). And he was quite frank in stating his opinion, Dan Steinberg of the WashingtonPost.com DC Sports Blog observes.

"I’ve been a Redskins fan for years. And to be honest with you, I would be offended if they did change it," Green said.

Green spoke on the air after, as ICTMN reported, 10 Congress members sent a letter to team owner Daniel Snyder urging him to change his club's name for being offensive--racist--to Native Americans.

The former chief also offered a history lesson. “I think what you have to do is look at where the name Redskins originated,” he said on the radio. “There are some that give the term Redskin a negative connotation — to indicate that it was created by the white man to offend the Indians — but in reality the term Redskins came from the Indians. And they referred to themselves oftentimes — in treaty negotiations, in meetings with the early settlers – as Redskins. So it’s not a term that the white man created; it’s actually a term that the Indians themselves created." Read more of what Green said here.

Let ICTMN know what you think about Green's position by commenting below.

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Opechan's picture
Opechan
Submitted by Opechan on
Thanks for giving "Chief" Green a forum to appear legitimate; there's nothing he likes better. Him and his "tribe" are total stranger among Virginia Tribes. Spending generations passing for white and keeping other Natives at arms-length has really paid-off.

Kanutamwi's picture
Kanutamwi
Submitted by Kanutamwi on
Kevin Brown, 58 and chief of the Pamunkey Tribe of Virginia, said, “I’m a Redskins fan, and I don’t think there’s any intention for (the nickname) to be derogatory. The majority of the people in my tribe don’t have a problem with it. There are a few who do, and we respect their feelings. G. Anne Richardson, chief of Virginia’s Rappahannock Tribe said, I don’t have an issue with it, There are so many more issues that are important for the tribe than to waste time on what a team is called. We’re worried about real things, and I don’t consider that a real thing." It's just not the Patawomeck Chief saying this. and it is possible to post a message without personally attacking someone, Opechan.

Opechan's picture
Opechan
Submitted by Opechan on
I am familiar with the comments from Pamunkey and Rappahannock, and Virginia Indians have legitimate concerns about the Patawomeck, in particular. The Patawomeck basically ceased to exist as a tribe hundreds of years ago. The theory is that they assimilated into the white community and there were rumors that some of their descendants were around, but the community itself just consistently married poor whites, without exception. There were also rumors that the group that calls themselves Patawomeck today are using "Indian" heritage to cover for black heritage. They wouldn't be the first to do that. However, they did not associate with other Virginia Indians; they ignored us. They did not marry within their group, nor marry within other Virginia Indian groups, which is one of the things we did (and still do) to survive. They did not publicly identify themselves as Indian. They didn't even make themselves known to our communities, for all this time. Enter Robert Green, sometime in the '90s. I've seen the man listen to us talk about our heritage and ancestors, then turn around, and claim our ancestors for his own, with no proof of a link, whatsoever. Understand, we're from small communities. For better or worse, we know who family is, and he isn't one of ours, nor has he proven it. Green just decided to start calling himself a chief one day, and here he is. He just isn't credible. Him being mixed isn't the problem. The problem is he and his community haven't show themselves to be a mix of anything connected to Virginia Indians. They haven't been "part of the mix" in any sense. I don't expect an outsider to know that.
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