Chair of Utah Native American tribe dismissed after Redskins trip

Thursday April 2nd, 2015

A trip funded by Redskins' owner Dan Snyder's Original Americans Foundation led to the dismissal of the chair of Utah's Paiute Tribe, according to the Washington Post

Gari Lafferty, the tribe's chairwoman, went on an all-expenses paid trip to the nation's capital and attended a Redskins game last season. The trip did not sit well with fellow tribe members, who argued Lafferty's acceptance of gifts from the foundation constituted her tribe's support for the franchise. 

Lafferty was charged by the tribal council with six counts of misconduct, the report said. 

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The Redskins have for years been fending off efforts from outside groups to change the organization's name. Several members of the Paiute Tribe's council oppose the Redskins' name. 

Critics of the name say the name is offensive to Native Americans. 

More, from the report:

At an October 1 council meeting, according to the minutes, Lafferty discussed the luncheon but didn’t mention the game. A fellow council member suggested that because of the controversy surrounding the name, “maybe we should step back as a Tribe” in their dealings with the foundation.

For the Paiute, the moniker debate is particularly significant because one of its members, Phil Gover, is among a group of Native Americans challenging the Redskins’ trademark protections.

“This isn’t an attempt to do good in Indian Country. It’s an attempt to divide people,” said Gover, who is Lafferty’s cousin and lives in Oklahoma. “If the tribe accepts the gift, it lends the veneer of support. ... The strings attached are your dignity.”

Lafferty claims her colleagues knew about her and her husband's trip before it happened, and none of them objected to her going on it. 

“If I’m guilty, they’re guilty,” she told The Post

- Will Green

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