NFL Redskin's representatives visit Zuni Pueblo looking to buy artwork

Created: 08/11/2014 9:54 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The ongoing controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins' name continues to grow. Many Native Americans say the NFL team's name is offensive.  But, not everyone is offended by the NFL team's nickname. Some natives are actually embracing it.

Monday, Zuni Pueblo in western New Mexico had representatives from the Redskins visiting. Hoping pueblo artists could make some money off them. Some representatives were looking to buy items made by Native Americans-- with and without the team's logo on it.

"I think the Redskins organization has a head on their shoulders. I wish more NFL teams would think that way to go and help out more of the indigenous communities around the US," said Daryl Shack.

More than 150 artists showed up with their work, hoping to sell their hand-made pieces from Zuni Pueblo. But not everyone was happy about the visitors from Washington.

On Facebook, several people were sounding off about the letter sent out notifying artists that the Washington Redskins would be on the pueblo.

"I'm going to make a poster saying, "I am a Zuni artist and I refuse to be bought by the Washington Redskins," said Facebook user Masika.

"I can't believe it! What has happened to our government? Sadly, it has come down to money... Then there is the last line, that's sad," said another Facebook user Francine.

The last line in that letter read, "Be respectful when you arrive. Do not smell of alcohol or marijuana, or be under the influence."

Another person on Facebook took offense saying, "those lines are basically stereotyping the people of Zuni."

But some artists didn't find the alcohol or marijuana line offensive either.

"I think it's the honest truth in any Indian community, any Indian community. We are all struggling with the diseases of alcoholism, we are all struggling with the pains of other addictions you know are people aren't any different from any other community, you know everybody is struggling with that," said Shack.   

Some of those there Monday said calling attention to Zuni Pueblo's talented artists and not controversy should have been the mission.

"A lot of people came out hoping to make something out of their art work. Hoping that they are recognized for their ability to do what they do," said one artist.

KOB did reach out to the governor of Zuni Pueblo to get reaction to the alcohol/marijuana line of the letter, but it was late and KOB was unable to get a response. 

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