With the Kansas City Chiefs winning the Superbowl and recent increased pressure on the Washington football team to change their name, sports fans are well aware of the controversies around Indigenous team names and mascots.
The second episode of Foreword, a podcast from Brock University’s Faculty of Humanities, takes on this issue in an interview with Jason Black, the 2020 Fulbright Research Chair in Transnational Studies with the Centre for Canadian Studies at Brock. Black talks about Indigenous rights activism, how sports fans associate themselves with their teams and how depictions of Indigenous mascots harm Indigenous people.
Black is a Professor with the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He holds a PhD in Rhetorical Studies from the University of Maryland and has researched and published extensively on rhetoric and discourse around LGTBQ+ and Indigenous activist movements. His most recent publications include Mascot National: The Controversy over Native American Representations in Sports (co-authored with Andrew Billings) and Decolonizing Native American Rhetoric: Communicating Self-Determination.
While at Brock to research his next book project, Black taught CANA 3V92 “Social Activism and Culture in Canada and the United States.” He has also spoken about his research on CBC Radio and CTV.