Stephen Dodson Interviews 'Inuit Chief' Who Supports Use of Redskins Name

May 04, 2013

Yesterday, the official website of the Washington Redskins published an interview with someone the article says is an Inuit chief. According to the article, Stephen Dodson, "a full-blooded American Inuit chief originally from the Aleutian Tribes of Alaska," reached out to the NFL team to share his perspective on the naming controversy. Many Native Americans object to the team calling itself the Redskins, seeing the term as degrading and even racist. Dodson is not one of them.

“We don’t have a problem with [the name] at all," Dodson told the website."In fact we’re honored. We’re quite honored.”

“It’s actually a term of endearment that we would refer to each other as," Dodson said. "“It’s not degrading in one bit and that’s why I sent you guys an email."

Pressure has been building against owner Daniel Snyder and his NFL team to change the club's name. A D.C. Council member is preparing to introduce a resolution to push the team to change its name to the Redtails. A group of six Natives has sued the club in trademark court; a decision is pending in that case. Even the U.S. Congress has taken up the issue, with a bill introduced recently that would strip the team of its trademark protection.

Interestingly, Dodson confessed to that he's actually a Philadelphia Eagles fan. His father was a diehard Washington supporter, though. But Dodson was motivated to explain to the Beltway gridiron club that he, as a Native, supports the team's name.

To read the entire interview with Dodson, click here. Watch a video of him speaking on the subject below. Let ICTMN know what you think about Dodson's views by commenting in the box below the video.



Scott's picture
Submitted by Scott on

Did Indian Country Today attempt to verify Dodson's status as an Alaskan "chief" before writing the headline, which takes his word for that status?

Geo's picture
Submitted by Geo on

I live in New York, but I was born in D.C., and grew up being a Redskins fan. I have never been a person, who on the inside, believed in having pride in myself for something I have no control over, such as heritage. But Chief Dodson and the people of his nation have every right to be proud of their people. Because of their true heart, and willingness to see the Redskins name the way millions of fans see it, a love for something that has transcended anything that could ever be construed as racist, in my eyes. I have a wonderful sense of pride for the Inuit people, and thank them for their support! Hail to them, and the Redskins!

Kc's picture
Submitted by Kc on

I'm a Lakota from South Dakota. This is what happens when you are a true sell out ! Put a sheet!

Sniperskin's picture
Submitted by Sniperskin on

Glad to hear the truth from a real redskin... Those other ppl just want to hide their heritage as if they never existed, trying to dumb-down the nation. When the term (team) ''REDSKINS'' is a constant reminder or memory of their ppl.

Ralph Thomas's picture
Ralph Thomas
Submitted by Ralph Thomas on

There will always be these "hang around the fort paper chiefs" to be found for the right amount of money. Most tribal councils are stacked full of them.

Geddes Lindsay's picture
Geddes Lindsay
Submitted by Geddes Lindsay on

I'd like to clear some stuff up here. I'm Stephen's uncle, he was raised by my brother, his eldest uncle, not his father. We are Aleut, not Inuit and he is 1/4, not full, as his mother, my sister, is only a half. Stephen isn't a "chief" but in the Air Force that was his nickname, as it was my brother's nickname in the Marine Corp. I'm not even sure Stephen has been to Alaska, to be honest about it all. I know my brother never went to Alaska while he was alive, none of my six siblings have, as far as I know. I have no problem with Stephen expressing his views or standing up for what he believes in, but let's keep it honest. We were all raised in the mid-west, in Oklahoma until my other sisters and I were forced to move to South Carolina to live with our sperm donor. I don't know if the person that wrote this interview embellished Stephens stats or what, but the truth is as I have stated here. Stephen is a good man, a great father and I love him as a son. I know my brother loved him as a son because he adopted him as his own when our sister wasn't capable of taking care of him. I personally find the Redskins name offensive, but we don't always agree on things like this. I know some Indians that aren't offended by the Redskins name and more still that are. The fact remains that it is a racial slur and therefore wrong in my opinion.

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on

Interesting that he claims to be a full blood. Then he should know that blood quantum is a colonized mindset which was meant to assimilate Indigenous peoples.

Blood quantum = Statistical genocide.

Submitted by trumpetnative on

Chief!..?? Whaaa!? Chief Walkin' Eagle, cuz he is so full of sh**t he can't fly! We all have them guys in our tribes. Its to bad for the football team that all the $money$ they are giving him for this interview won't go to actually winning something in the NFL.

editors's picture
Submitted by editors on

@Scott: Our story does not say he is or is not, only that reports had him described as an "Inuit Chief."

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on

If he is an Indian, must less a chief, he's a hanger around the fort Indian!

Seldom Seen

shap.camb's picture
Submitted by shap.camb on

this is rediculous....i cant believe an individual would go onto RedskinTV to attempt to speak for a group of people.

curtj's picture
Submitted by curtj on

" Around the Fort Indian"? Why would a race of people accept a name bestowed on them by a lost slaver, rapist and mass murderer who died of Syphillis? I know people from India and recognize their accent, but I don't know of Indigenous who look like them or sound like them.
I've heard of the Inuit living in Greenland, but i didn't know of Inuits on the Aleutian Chain, but maybe some may be married and living there.
Redskins or Squaw, from where I come from, they're said with disdain and contempt.
But we get all kinds, Indigenous sucking up to the descendants of the first illegal European immigrants who stole and murdered their way across this contintent.
Now we have Indigenous and their leaders as corrupt as the descendants of the illegal European immigrants, who'll sell their people, resources and lands out

Indian Bob's picture
Indian Bob
Submitted by Indian Bob on

Im a Lakota from North Dakota, and the Redskins name is utterly
offensive and degrading. The term "Redskins" causes many other stereotypical terms to arise and if the team were called the "Blackskins"
the entire Black race would object to that negative team mascot name.
Daniel Snyder change the name and stop being a racist!!!!!!!!

UTE's picture
Submitted by UTE on

I'm full blood Ute and where i come from if you refer to us as redskin your asking for fight.

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on

Going by Geddes Lindsay's comment:
"I'd like to clear some stuff up here. I'm Stephen's uncle, he was raised by my brother, his eldest uncle, not his father. We are Aleut, not Inuit and he is 1/4, not full, as his mother, my sister, is only a half. Stephen isn't a "chief" but in the Air Force that was his nickname, as it was my brother's nickname in the Marine Corp."'s interesting to note that the Redskins try to clarify their ignorance by promoting more stereotypes. Thank you for sharing, Geddes.

Wanda Boivin's picture
Wanda Boivin
Submitted by Wanda Boivin on

I agree with Mr. Dodson, except for the Idiot looking Indian from the baseball team, I would have to say that was degrading. When I was younger I had a "Redskins" jacket and I wore it a lot and certainly felt a sense of pride (not even a sports fan much) Just liked wearing the big Indian on my back. It reminded of my grandpa cause he had that traditional side view look to him. I must admit I am not full blood Indian, but I was born and raised on the rez and had to deal with racism from both sides all my life. Anyway, I hope the Redskins keep their name, just because some Indians are offended doesn't mean we all are.

Raye W.'s picture
Raye W.
Submitted by Raye W. on

I am Comanche/Kiowa I have been a REDSKINS FAN every since i started watching sprots. My dad was a Redskins fan my whole family are redskins fan even my husband is a redskins fan. I see nothing wrong with useing the name REDSKINS or other names related to NATIVE AMERICAN INDIANS. It doesn't make me any less of a person. I'm proud of who I am an the I think that there are other concrens out there in this would then this. I wll always be a REDSKINS FAN NO MATTER WHAT. HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!!!!!

Sonny Skyhawk's picture
Sonny Skyhawk
Submitted by Sonny Skyhawk on

This is a prime example of many things that have affected our people. He is an example of assimilation, and a term used by our people called "hang around the fort" Indian. Tthe "R" word is not a term of endearment amongst our people, as he states, and never has been. He is wrong, a sell-out and a disgrace and an embarrassment to the Inuit Nation and people. Furthermore, you do not inherit a Chief title, it is earned and gifted upon you by your people because of accomplishment, standing or deeds, and through ceremony. Not much more to discuss. You need to study and know your own Inuit traditions. I, as a proud Lakota man, it is not my place to teach you, but when you include all of us in your statement, you have forced me to respond. The proud American Indians that I know do not condone or accept the "R" word in any manner or use.


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