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In Whose Honor? American Indian Mascots in Sports (1997)

4.6 ·
5

This groundbreaking 1997 PBS documentary launched the movement against American Indian mascots to a new level, getting reviewed in the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Tribune, and even a "person of the week" spot about the film's subject Charlene Teters by the ABC World News.

"In Whose Honor?" takes a critical look at the long-running practice of "honoring" Native American Indians by using them as mascots and nicknames in sports. In this moving and award-winning documentary, Native Americans speak out about the hurtful and harmful effects of stereotyped sports images on both Natives and non-Natives alike.

The program follows the remarkable story of Charlene Teters, a Spokane Indian and mother of two, and her impassioned transformation from a graduate student into a leader of a national movement. Along the way she is spit upon, threatened, even assaulted, yet she never wavers in her mission to protect and preserve her cultural identity for her children. Her commitment earns her enough respect from her community to be called by some "the Rosa Parks of American Indians." 

"In Whose Honor?" examines the issues of racism, stereotypes, and the powerful effects of mass-media imagery. It captures the passion and resolve articulated by both sides of this contemporary controversy, and also shows the extent to which one community, that of Champaign, Illinois, will go to defend and justify its mascot.

Written and produced by Jay Rosenstein.

"This story is about more than an inappropriate mascot. It’s about culture, identity and how we are all capable of making a real difference."
-Eric Kaler, President, University of Minnesota 

(Read President Kaler's complete comments)

“A fascinating case study of free speech and culture clash.”
-the Tampa Tribune 

"A graphic and eloquent examination of racism in sports and so called 'higher education'. Catching bigotry at its most virulent, this film requires no interpretation - it speaks directly to the problems without blinking. A masterpiece of camera art and realism."
-(the late) Vine Deloria, Jr.
Professor of Native American History
University of Colorado, Boulder 

“This film is a prerequisite for anyone wishing to understand the plight of Native Americans today.”
-John Lewis Orendorff
Los Angeles Am. Indian Education Commission 

“Powerful in showing the struggles of Native American groups, and the reactions of those who don’t understand what is so wrong with the Cleveland Indians logo, the name Washington Redskins, and others.”
-Chicago Tribune

jayrosenstein.com