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Snyder to create foundation to provide help for tribal communities

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

The Redskins, at this point, will just continue to be the Redskins. (USATSI)
The Redskins, at this point, will just continue to be the Redskins. (USATSI)

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Just because the President has advised the Redskins to change their name and just because two members of Congress recently scolded the NFL for keeping the name, team owner Daniel Snyder has not been compelled to change it (he's been anything but, actually).

But with his colleagues -- and his commissioner -- still seemingly on his side (for now, at least), Snyder has taken a step to ingratiate himself into the Native American community.

In a letter released Monday, Snyder announced that he would create a Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation that, in Snyder's words, will "provide meaningful and measurable resources that provide genuine opportunities for Tribal communities."

This latest idea stems from Snyder's numerous meetings with Native American tribes in which he says he traveled to 26 tribal reservations in 20 states "to listen and learn first-hand about the views, attitudes, and experiences of the Tribes. We were invited into their homes, their Tribal Councils and their communities to learn more about the extraordinary daily challenges in their lives. ... The more I heard, the more I've learned, and the more I saw, the more resolved I became about helping to address the challenges that plague the Native American community. In speaking face-to-face with Native American leaders and community members, it's plain to see they need action, not words."

Snyder -- whose entire letter can be read here -- continues to say that the people with whom he's meeting support Washington keeping the Redskins name. But maybe once a week, I get an email dropped into my inbox from a PR arm of the Oneida Indian Nation that loudly refutes Snyder's claims.

On Monday at the owners' meetings in Orlando, Fla., Goodell said the league is still listening to input about the nickname.

"We have and we will continue to do so," Goodell said. "We have done a very thorough job of understanding all perspectives on all of this."

Meanwhile, Snyder continues to trot out the line that the Redskins nickname is an honor and not a slur.

"For too long, the struggles of Native Americans have been ignored, unnoticed and unresolved," he wrote in his letter. "As a team, we have honored them through our words and on the field, but now we will honor them through our actions. We commit to the tribes that we stand together with you, to help you build a brighter future for your communities.

"The Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation will serve as a living, breathing legacy -- and an ongoing reminder -- of the heritage and tradition that is the Washington Redskins."

As for changing the name, it continues to look like Snyder is not interested in making that happen.

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