Ryan LeBeau, council vice chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Council, photographed this $25,000 check from the Washington Football Team's Original Americans Foundation made out to the Rodeo Association.

Washington Football Team Foundation Fumbles (Again): $25,000 Rejected by Cheyenne River

Sheena Louise Roetman

The Cheyenne River Sioux tribal council voted Wednesday to reject all current and future monetary offers from the Washington NFL team’s Original Americans Foundation.

Council Vice Chairman Ryman LeBeau confirmed in a Facebook post on August 4 that an “action to reject any/all payments from redskins” would be held to a vote Wednesday. LeBeau included a photograph of a check from the Original Americans Foundation made out to Cheyenne River Rodeo Association for $25,000, dated July 10.

Council Vice Chairman Ryman LeBeau posted this update saying “Council passes motion to reject all redskins money.” Photo courtesy Facebook.com.

Wednesday morning, LeBeau posted an update saying “Council passes motion to reject all redskins money.” The motion also specifically required that Chairman Harold Frazier discontinue communicating with the NFL team and anyone associated.

“…motion that the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe reject any and all payments received or payments negotiated from the Washington Redskins and/or their organization the Washington Redskins Original Americans foundation, and that Chairman Harold Frazier and the tribe cease all unsanctioned communication with the Washington Redskins and any group or person associated with them.”

LeBeau specifically mentioned Chairman Frazier and fellow councilman Richard Rousseau in an August 3 Facebook post stating he would vote no on their joint proposal to “sell out our Tribe for Redskins money.”


Team owner Dan Snyder created the Original Americans Foundation in March 2014 to “provide meaningful and measurable resources that provide genuine opportunities for Tribal communities.”

Since its creation, the foundation has yet to disclose any financial information, and the website has not been updated. It has remained largely silent, with the exception of an unnamed team spokesman recently speaking with reporter John Woodrow Cox of The Washington Post, saying that the foundation is currently “spending millions of dollars on nearly 250 projects with more than 50 federally recognized tribes.”

Ben Shelly, previous president of the Navajo Nation, came under fire last October when he was seen wearing team gear at a Cardinals game while sitting in a luxury box.

RELATED: More R-Word Scandal: Utah Tribe Removes Chairwoman For Receiving Gifts

Shelly is not the only tribal leader to be seen at games sporting the Washington team’s mascot. Gari Lafferty, then-leader of Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, also attended a game last fall, which led to her dismissal at the hands of councilmembers.

Indian Country Today will continue to investigate the details of the Cheyenne River Sioux proposal and vote, as well as pursue further information regarding the Original Americans Foundation.

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tmsyr11's picture
Submitted by tmsyr11 on
The Navajo Tribal Nation and the varied scattered chapters through the vast outreaches of the assigned reservation lands could and should use the $25,000.00 dollars for efforts as building a veteran home, improving/building upon a house(s) renovation-roof renovations. Renovating a regional animal/dog shelter, hospital….vetenarian services. How about purchasing recreational/activities for Navajo old age/elderlies. $25,000.00 could help a Navajo veterans in funeral services and/or arrangements. I do hope the Washington Redskin organization can direct the much needed $25,000.00 to Navajo reservation inhabitants. THis is despite the fact of social media pundits and their mascot cause isn't and hasn't done much if any-thing for reservation life. My question too is when will some-body/some-one investigate or ask for financial information to the Mascot organization that support Ms. Blackhorse and supporters. Who is paying for those airline tickets from NFL city to city? Where is the money coming from in the signs/posters, stickers? Surprisingly this topic of financial support to Mascot has been largely…..silent.