To the Editors:

I would like to provide an Indian/redskin perspective and context in the matter of utilizing a fellow human being—an Indian—as a mascot.

First off, the word “redskin” is the white man’s word for a savage toward whom he felt extreme hatred. In addition to his hatred for the savage Indian, he also had extreme fear of the savage Indian—a fear that drove him to genocide.

These were the early so-called pioneer days when “men were men” and when it was not only alright, but a duty, for whites to kill Indians. It started by taking Indian scalps, then ears and then the whole Indian head, all for a bounty.

Whites eventually began to peel the skin from alive or dead Indians, not only for the bounty but also for the pure pleasure of torturing, terrorizing and killing the Indian. This practice of peeling away the skin left an Indian body that seemingly had red skin.

My choice of words like whites, Indians and white man is very deliberate because we have been using those words and labels since our two peoples met in 1492. That has been the nature of our peoples’ relationship. That is what defined our relationship and continues to define our one-sided relationship into the present.

I would like to remind everyone that we are all children of God, and that we are all related and that we must love one another or die.

All my relations,
Dan Ennis, O.I.M.
Tobique Indian Reserve 
New Brunswick, Canada