"The word Redskin was taught to me at a very young age, and this is the meaning it has for me.
"I am a Native American. I grew up on an Indian reservation. As a child, the United States Government and the Catholic Church came into our homes, took us away from our families, and forced us into Catholic boarding schools. There was no choice to be had in this matter, you had to go. The Catholic Church with the blessings of the United States Government took it upon themselves to determine that we were savages, and needed to be transformed to fit into their society.
"When my hair was cut short by the priests, I was called a "redskin" and a savage. When I spoke my native tongue, I was beaten and called "redskin". When I tried to follow the spiritual path of my people, I was again beaten and called a "redskin". I was told by them to turn my back on the ways of my people, or I would forever be nothing but a dirty "redskin".
"The only way "redskin" was ever used towards my people and myself was in a derogatory manner. It was never, ever, used in a show of respect or kindness. It was only used to let you know that you were dirty and no good, and to this day still is.
"A long time ago, a group of people who had no knowledge of these facts, and who put no thought into what "redskin" actually meant chose to use this word for their mascot. A new group of people, now being confronted about it, have somehow decided it is their decision to change the meaning of this word to fit their purposes and agendas, but again have put no thought into its true meaning or what this word means to Native Americans."
-- Clem Ironwing, Sioux