Who We Are

We are a group of Indigenous advocates in the southwest region who seek to confront the colonization of our identities as Indigenous people. The colonization of Indigenous people has negatively affected every aspect of our lives, especially our identities. We strive to dismantle racist institutions by targeting sports teams who use racist Native mascots/nicknames as well as those who use general Native themes.

Amanda Blackhorse is Dine’ and a member of the Navajo Nation. She is Ashihii born for Tachinii. Her maternal grandfather was Tsinagjinii and her maternal grandfather was Ashinii. She is from Big Mountain and Kayenta, Arizona. She is a mother, licensed clinical social worker, and an advocate to protect Indigenous identities.

Photo Credit: Douglas Miles

In June 2014, Amanda Blackhorse and four young Native American petitioners, organized by Suzan Shown Harjo, won their 9 year long case before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board under the US Patent Office in Blackhorse et.al vs. Pro Football to cancel the federal registrations of the NFL team, the Washington R*dsk*ns. These registrations include the racial slur r*dsk*ns and their logo. This unprecedented victory appeared to end an over 40-year battle against the R-word. As a result of that decision, Pro-Football sued Amanda Blackhorse and her co-plaintiffs in federal court but on July 8, 2015 a federal judge upheld the TTAB decision to cancel the teams registrations on the grounds of disparagement – the team lost their appeal. Still not happy with this decision, Pro Football appealed once again. Currently the case is pending in the Fourth Circuit court of appeals and has been drastically affected by a similar case Matal vs. Tam where the Lanham Act (Section 2a) was rule unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court on the grounds that it violates Free Speech. The case was dropped in 2018.

Amanda Blackhorse and others founded the group, Arizona to Rally Against Native American Mascots to spread awareness about the harmful effects of offensive Native mascots locally and nationally. As an advocate against Native American mascots and as a social worker, she also speaks nationally about how colonization and historical trauma contribute to the legacy of Native American mascots.