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Findings from the
Michigan Civil Rights Commission Report on Use of Nicknames, Logos and Mascots Depicting Native American People in Michigan Education Institutions

October 1988

(page) 29

VIII. RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTION STEPS


1. Any use of Indian names, logos and mascots should be discontinued because racial stereotyping of Native Americans is prevalent and destructive.

2. Since much of the stereotypic use of Indian names and logos appears to arise from lack of information about Indian culture and the impact of stereotyping on Indian and non-Indian students, a program for public information and discussion should be engaged, including several steps.

- Mailing of this report to all institutions and Indians organizations

- Local review and discussion of the report in communities which have Indian team names and symbols

- Discussion among civil rights organizations

- Staff discussion with the Michigan Department of Education regarding a possible State Board policy on use of Indian names

- Mailing to mail order houses

3. Local districts or individual schools within districts which have Indian athletic team names or logos should establish study committees to discuss this report. These committees should involve significant numbers of Indian organizations such as Title IV parent groups, Indian centers, individual Indians and local community groups which have an interest in Indian rights issues. Curriculum materials which relate to Indians are available and should be used.

4. Following the 1989-90 school year this Commission will again survey Michigan education institutions to determine the level of stereotyping level of presence of Indian stereotypes in use.  If stereotyping continues as a problem, the Commission will consider at least following options:

-Receipt and investigation of formal complaints from Indian students or groups alleging that use of names or logos violate the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

- Public hearings on continued use of  Indian names and logos.

5. Department staff should support and cooperate with research efforts to establish the impact Indian and non~lndian students.

6. We encourage all school districts  to closely examine all instructional materials to determine the extent to which stereotyping of Indians occurs in the institution.

7. Those schools which use Indian names and logos should incorporate course work into the significance of the name and symbol in Indian culture and in the history of this state.