The Chiefs’ only home game in November, American Indian Heritage Month, has become a chance for a Native American group to communicate a message to Chiefs fans.
“We recognize that opportunity to engage in a cross-cultural consultation and dialogue with the Kansas City Chiefs in hopes of facilitating a process that — over time — can lead to a cultural change in disrespectful behavior seen at times by fans at NFL games,” the group said in a statement.
Among the messages shared by the group’s membership from the Cheyenne-Arapaho, Choctaw and Lakota tribes: Headdresses and face paint have deep spiritual and cultural meaning to Native Americans.
“To many American Indians, the idea of individuals outside the Native community who have not earned the right or permission to wear face paint would be analogous to casually wearing a military uniform and displaying medals when one has never served as an active member of the military,” the group said.
On Sunday, American Indians sang the national anthem, made up the color guard, led blessings and handed the drum mallet to actor and KC native Rob Riggle, who served as the Chiefs’ drum honoree on Sunday.