JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) _ Alaska’s largest tribe is boycotting FedEx until the company pulls its sponsorship from the Washington, D.C. NFL team or that team changes its name.
The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska announced Thursday that it has told tribal employees that use of FedEx services will be discontinued because many consider the NFL team’s name to be derogatory to indigenous people, reported the Juneau Empire (http://bit.ly/1IkbHJe ).
FedEx is one of the team’s top sponsors. It purchased naming rights to the stadium in 1999.
Tribal President Richard Peterson says the council isn’t anti-FedEx but is exercising its strength financially to protest a name and mascot they consider derogatory.
“It’s like anybody else using the N-word,” Peterson told the Juneau Empire. “It’s like calling our women squaws. It may have been popular … with colonial, backwards-minded people back in the day, but I don’t think it’s appropriate and we need to be a voice and a champion.”
Peterson says CCTHITA represents about 30,000 tribal citizens in Southeast Alaska and across the country.
Not all tribal members will follow through with the boycott, says Peterson, but he believes the tribe’s resolution has overwhelming support.