Snyder Pays Visits To Indian Reservations, Focusing On Economic, Social Issues
Redskins Senior VP/Communications Tony Wyllie said that team Owner Daniel Snyder and other team officials "have taken more than a dozen unpublicized trips to Indian Country" as they "wanted to see for themselves what some people view as an issue far more pressing than the name of a football team: a population struggling with poverty, disease and substance abuse at rates higher than any other group in the nation," according to Vargas & Clarke of the WASHINGTON POST. The team "could soon make a financial gesture to address some of these problems, including selling popcorn from a South Dakota tribe" at Redskins home games. Leaders of the Pueblo of Zuni Indian reservation in New Mexico "welcomed the chance to give Snyder a tour several weeks ago." But Snyder and the leaders did not "discuss what had brought Snyder there: the pressure to change the team's name." Zuni Lt. Gov. Steve Boone said of Snyder, "We just appreciate him for coming and visiting us and seeing our point of view." Vargas & Clarke noted no promises "were made that day, only an indication that Snyder and the team might be back in touch." Redskins officials "would not say what might result from recent trips to Native American areas." Sources said that "at least two things are in the works: a charity aimed at the problems of Native Americans and an arrangement for Lakota Foods in South Dakota to provide popcorn at the games." Wyllie said that Snyder "would not be available for interviews until the season ends but that his trips have been designed 'to hear firsthand what issues are on their minds.'" Wyllie said of Snyder, "He has heard their concerns, which have nothing to do with the team name but instead involve real-life issues, such as economic conditions and educational opportunities. He plans to continue to listen and learn and looks forward to saying more in the coming months" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/21).