Last Sunday’s Superbowl marks the end of the 2014-15 NFL season, a season that saw an unprecedented number of protests and attention on the controversy over the name of the Washington football team. In connection with those events, we present In Whose Honor?, a documentary film that has been a central part of that movement since its initial broadcast on PBS’s POV series in 1997.
Washington Redskins, Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves — Indian mascots and nicknames have historically been first draft picks in American sports. But for Charlene Teters, a Spokane Indian, transplanting cultural rituals onto the field is a symbol of disrespect.
The film follows Teters’s evolution from mother and student into a leading voice against the merchandising of Native American symbols — and shows the lengths fans will go to preserve their mascots.
In the nearly 20 years since In Whose Honor? was first broadcast, it has been screened in classrooms and used by activists to bring attention to the issue. Filmmaker Jay Rosenstein says that today “there are far fewer of these mascots and nicknames than there were when the film was first released.” The 2005 NCAA decision to penalize schools who refused to get rid of their American Indian mascots, logos and nicknames was a major victory for Teters’s group.
The window for watching this film is over.
For more information about In Whose Honor, visit the Jay Rosenstein Productions website.