The mainstream media's role in pushing a one-sided narrative with respect to NAGA cannot be overstated. The mainstream media is revenue-driven and as such is known to be biased concerning what narratives can potentially generate the greatest revenue. To be sure, the media has contributed to the public perception that most Native Americans are opposed to Native imagery in sports and mainstream society. With the emergence of NAGA as the counter to this false narrative, the media has been consistently propagating 3 key falsehoods about our organization and its leaders. Despite the many times NAGA has addressed these accusations, the media fails to report it. With that in mind, we would like to offer truthful answers to these accusations, and we welcome the media to report accurately and fairly.
Accusation #1: The leaders of NAGA are mostly non-Native.
Fact: Each member of our leadership team has some verified Native ancestry with the majority being enrolled tribal members. In fact, three of our five board members are enrolled full blood Indians and one leadership team member is the Chief of a tribe. The NAGA leadership team has always proudly reflected diversity by inviting both reservation and urban Indians to serve as leaders of our organization to best represent the various voices within the community. The biographies of our leadership team have consistently been a part of our web presence, and we have been very open in regard to our individual heritages and tribal affiliations.
Mark OneWolf Yancey resigned from the NAGA board in 2020 in order to pursue other endeavors, but still fights for the preservation of Native American heritage and culture in the public. Despite the many attacks levied at Mark OneWolf Yancey, he has been very open about his heritage and life. He and his family are survivors of the “Paper Genocide.” Mark has testified in court under penalty of perjury as to his identity. As stated in his biography, Mark is Chihene N’de, also known as Chiricahua Apache. For the many years we have known Mark, we have never known him to claim any other affiliation or heritage. As a result of Mark’s support of the Washington Redskin’s name, he was approached by a reporter from the Washington Post, who at the time was involved in a campaign to pressure the Washington Redskins to change their name. In no uncertain terms Mark was told to end his support for the team or his heritage would be called into question. This was an obvious effort to bully and discredit him. Mark has not only continued his vocal support for the Redskins, but became even more vocal by joining NAGA in an effort of preservation on a national scale.
Accusation #2: NAGA has deep connections to the Washington Redskins.
Fact: It is only natural to connect with those with whom you ally with. There is no difference in NAGA’s support for the former Washington Redskins franchise and other Native themed teams at every level of sports. Following the 2020 decision to retire their Native identity resulting from corporate financial pressure, NAGA is no longer allying with the Washington NFL team. Instead, NAGA has petitioned the franchise to restore the name, iconic logo, and the Native American pride that goes along with it.
Accusation #3: NAGA is massively funded by nefarious sources including the Washington Redskins.
Fact: NAGA was approved by the IRS for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in 2017. Our organization has received ZERO funding from Dan Snyder, the Washington Redskins franchise or any of it's charitable divisions or foundations suggested by Sports Illustrated in 2020. Contrary to the claims, no one from NAGA was ever contacted by SI to respond to the mischaracterizations in this article. All donations except for one have come from individuals who support our mission. NAGA received a one time $100,000 gift from a North Dakota based foundation in 2019. Our donations, which are a matter of public record, are as follows:
As the facts make apparent, NAGA has functioned on sparse funding and with an all-volunteer group of individuals passionate about stopping this modern-day Indian Removal campaign.