"More Than a Word delivers a compelling close-up of critiques and celebrations of the Washington Redskins and other indigenous-inspired mainstream representations. Through the creation of this urgent film and its eclectic array of personal interviews and archival media footage, Standing Rock Sioux filmmakers and brothers John Little and Kenn Little travel across Indian Country to listen to Native activists, artists, and scholars who represent indigenous self-determination in action and whose voices reveal that "Redskins" is far more than just a seven-letter word."
- Dr. Dustin Tahmahkera, Assistant Professor, Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies, Faculty Affiliate, Native American and Indigenous Studies Program, University of Texas at Austin
“More Than a Word makes crystal clear that the fight against Indian mascots is a central part of the wider struggle of Indigenous people for political, educational, and socio-economic justice today. From the Washington football team to Standing Rock, this important documentary shows that Indigenous activism and artistry are alive and well, and getting stronger by the day.”
- Dr. Kevin Bruyneel, Professor of Politics, Babson College
“More Than A Word strips away the simple caricatures and lays bare the open and complex historical, social and cultural wounds that fester underneath the racial epithets and imagery used in sports mascots. It has captured the voice of a too often ignored people, and is a call for a realignment of how people of conscience demand social justice and equality in the realms of mainstream media and the wealthy sports industry.”
- Bryan Pollard (Cherokee), President of the Native American Journalists Association
"More Than a Word is more than wonderful. This profound and profoundly moving film delineates the harm done to all of us by depictions of Indigenous people as sports team mascots. It shows how Indigenous dispossession is an ongoing contemporary cultural process, not a finite and fixed past event. Most important, in teaching us to see, learn and think more complexly, More Than A Word also impels us to act, to live up to our obligations and responsibilities to reject all forms of denigration and dehumanization.”
- Dr. George Lipsitz, Professor of Black Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara, Author of The Possessive Investment in Whiteness
"An artistic, political, culturally relevant project from an indigenous perspective. In its final act, More Than a Word winds up — for my money — in one of the most important places we can find, and that’s to say: what’s next for indigenous people? What would happen if they took control over their own representations?"
- Dr. Joshua Nelson, Affiliated faculty, Department of Native American Studies, University of Oklahoma
"More than a Word is an important film, documenting the little-known and misunderstood history of a racial epithet that continues to be used to de-humanize and stereotype native peoples as savage, sub-humans fit only for caricature as sports mascots in the American racial imagination. Infuriating and provocative, like the "R" word itself, the film will leave you thinking about the words that are used as part of our everyday, casual conversations that perpetuate a hidden legacy of genocide and racial conquest without the slightest bit of hesitation or regret on the part of those who have most directly benefited from that legacy. In a time of heightened racial tensions brought on by certain of our own elected leaders and media personalities, More than a Word is more than a documentary about racist sports mascots. It's a film that speaks directly to who we are as a nation divided by race at this very moment in time. We are what we speak; the words we use to define others also define who we are, inside our own hearts and our own minds.”
- Dr. Robert Williams. E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law at The University of Arizona, Faculty Co-Chair, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program
"John and Kenn Little’s documentary More Than A Word provides us with a contemporary and historical framework within which to discuss cultural and racial stereotypes, the thorny line between appropriation and appreciation, and why it matters. Jay Rosenstein, in 1997, produced In Whose Honor, a film highlighting the struggle of Charlene Teters, then a student at the University of Illinois against the school’s mascot “Chief Illiniwek.” Twenty years later, More Than A Word confirms the same arguments (“It’s an honor,” “there are more important issues,” etc.) are used to justify the continued use of racial stereotypes against American Indian people. The Little’s film, as it weaves together this historical and contemporary narrative, illuminates the social, political and economic landscape within which these stereotypes thrive. More Than A Word makes clear this struggle is part of a larger battle taking place in the cultural domain. It is, as Philip Deloria suggests in the film, a struggle to “contest the structure of domination.””
- Lucy Ganje, Professor Emerita of Art/Graphic Design at the University of North Dakota, Founder of UND’s Native Media Center
"A deeply informed tool for advocacy and resistance, More Than A Word makes a powerful statement about the systemic racism and historical and ongoing oppression of Native Americans in the United States. The voices of real contemporary people viscerally connect rhetoric and symbols with the concrete policies that continue to marginalize and denigrate indigenous peoples. Those who attend to this film gain new understanding and ability to disrupt colonial practices that persist in contemporary society.”
- Dr. Susan D. Ross, Professor of English at Washington State University
"More Than a Word highlights why it is essential to take action and eliminate racial epithets and images. A documentary that can facilitate discussion and address the harmful effects of mascots as well as social responsibility."
- Dr. Victoria Lapoe, Assistant Professor of Journalism at Ohio University, Board member for the Native American Journalists Association
"The essential and affecting documentary More Than a Word convincingly presents what Native activists protesting stereotypical mascots are up against: a powerful and wealthy sports franchise whose owners stoop low to rationalize their continued profiteering from a racist team name. We hear from Native activists about the continued damage caused by stereotypical images and from Washington R*dsk*ns supporters who argue blithely that they are merely “honoring” Native people. The recent controversy over athletes kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racism is indeed ironic considering that the Washington R*dsk*ns, Kansas City Chiefs, and Cleveland Indians, among other prominent teams, refuse to replace their own dehumanizing logos. This timely documentary is highly recommended.”
- Dr. Devon Mihesuah, Cora Lee Beers Price Teaching Professor in International Cultural Understanding at the University of Kansas
“This film is a wonderful account of the need to respect the rights of Indian people to live without racism. It should be seen by all people.”
- Dr. Dean Chavers, Founder/Director of Catching the Dream, Author of Racism in Indian Country