The United States Commission on Civil Rights, the highest
official governmental body of its kind, issued
a statement on the use of American Indian Images and Nicknames as Sports
The New York State Education Department sent
a directive urging all public schools to end the use of Native
American mascots, nicknames, and symbols as soon as practical.
Citing the desire of a good educational environment for their children, The
Choctaw, Chickasaw, Muskogee, Cherokee, and Seminole Nations passed an
Inter-Tribal resolution calling for an end to the use of American Indian
mascots in public schools.
Counseling Association, the world's largest association of professional
counselors, passed a resolution supporting
elimination of stereotypical Native American images.
The South Dakota Board of Education passed a resolution in support of
retiring "Indian" related sports team mascots.
The Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs unanimously passed
a resolution aimed at addressing the institutionalized use of
"Indian" sports team mascots in that state's public schools.
Maryland's top panel on minority student achievement (Achievement
Initiative for Maryland's Minority Students) called on the state school board
to stop the use of American Indian mascot names in public schools.
The National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) released
a statement opposing the use of American Indian mascots.
The Kansas Human Rights Commission issued a policy statement that
"strongly encourages the discontinuance" of Indian-related logos and
symbols, including high school mascots.
Over 1,000 North Central Faculty Association representatives from
Midwestern universities produced a statement condemning the use of American
Indian nicknames for sports teams.
The Modern Language Association (MLA) passed a resolution
on mascots and symbols. The MLA includes over 30,000 members in the fields of
English, foreign languages, and linguistics.
The University of North Dakota held a national conference on
mascots that drew hundreds of advocates from around the country and much
attention to that school's use of a stereotypic "Indian" sports team
token. (Grand Forks, ND)
Minnesota Indian Education Association adopted
RESOLUTION No. 2103 in opposition to the University of North Dakota's use of the "Fighting
Sioux" name and logo.
Famous for its polling services, Quinnipiac University voted
to discontinue use of its "Braves" nickname. (Hamden,
St. Cloud University of Minnesota took steps designed to
prohibit visiting teams that use "Indian" related nicknames, logos,
etc., from displaying such items on the St. Cloud campus.
The Student Government Association of Illinois State
a resolution endorsing the Native American Student Association's efforts to
combat racially stereotypical mascots.
The Coalition of the Chicago Native American
Community demanded the Illinois governor use his influence to retire Chief
Illiniwek and guarantee improvements in services for American Indians.
United Methodist Church
$10,000 toward the campaign to rid the University of Illinois,
Champaign-Urbana, of its "Chief Illiniwek" sports team token.
A 54-year-old tradition ended on Sept. 17 when the Illinois Valley
Community College Board of Trustees voted
to discontinue having the Apache as the college mascot. (Oglesby, IL)
The Southwestern College board of trustees changed
the name of the school's athletic teams and mascot from Apache to Jaguar.
(Chula Vista, CA)
The well-respected Native American golf pro, Notah Begay III, took a stand
and lent his support toward the replacement of "Indian" sports team
Betty Ann Gross, executive director of the Resource Minority Center, made
strong headway in advancing the issue in South Dakota. The Woonsocket
school district's "Indian" mascot was one of those that Ms. Gross helped
Advocates at Southeastern Oklahoma State University began
efforts to address that school's use of the egregious "Savages"
nickname and related practices.
With a minimum of controversy and only weeks after the United States
Commission on Civil Rights released its statement, Parsippany High School,
Parsippany, New Jersey, demonstrated the importance of strong leadership by
changing its racially demeaning, "Redskins" nickname.
Led by an 8 year-old Dineh student, the Flintstone Elementary
School in Fort Washington, Maryland, changed its "Flintstone
Indians" nickname in favor of "Lions."
Abita Springs Elementary and Luling Elementary respectively
changed their "Indian" related sports team nicknames to
"Hummingbirds" and "Tiger Cubs." (Louisiana)
Saying it was offensive to Native Americans and violated
current board policy on bias-free schools, the Montgomery County School District
(Maryland) wisely chose to make changes to the Poolesville
High School "Indians" sports team token.
The Saranac Lake High school in Saranac Lake, New York, distinguished
itself by retiring its "Redskins" racial slur nickname in
favor of "Redstorm."
The school district in Montgomery County, Virginia, led
by example by chosing to phase out "Indian" related sports team tokens
from Blacksburg high and other schools under its jurisdiction.
Camp Rockmont for
Boys, in Black Mountain, North Carolina, eliminated
the use of American Indian themes and artifacts.
The public high school in Scarborough,
Maine, adopted "Red Storm" to replace its slanderous former
Displaying a significant healing gesture, Glenwood High School in
Chatham, Illinois, did away with it's "Redskins" nickname.
The district's junior high teams followed suit by changing their
Exhibiting more courage, wisdom, and responsibility than
Illinois' flagship university, Champaign
public schools removed all Chief Illiniwek material from hallways and
Sam Houston school
in San Antonio, Texas, exchanged its "Indians" nickname in favor of
Muskegon High school retained its "Big Red"
nickname but took
steps to retire its "Indian boy" dance and related
West schools replaced their "Indians" team name to become the
" Wolves." (Illinois)
Penfield High school retired its "Chiefs" sports
team symbol and received honor and praise from local American Indian
people for its actions. (New York)
The public school in Canastota, NY,
retained its "Red Raiders" nickname but dropped its Indian logo
Bloomington High School replaced its "Indian"
The Board of Education in Flint, Michigan, voted
to phase out its three American Indian-themed school monikers - Central
High School's Indians, Whittier Middle School's Braves and Pierce Elementary
Following the example set by its school district, which had already retired
its "Redskins," "Warriors" and "Braves" mascots,
the Hiawatha city commission voted to change the name of Redskin Drive
to Redhawk Drive. (Kansas)
Coalition of the Chicago Native American
Community demanded the governor use his influence to retire Chief
Illiniwek and guarantee improvements in services for American Indians.
The school district in Afton, New York, showed
good decision-making and leadership by retiring its "Indians"
nickname shortly after receiving a directive to that effect from the New York
State Education Department.
The school district in Irondequoit served as a good role-model by
retiring its "Indians" sports team token. (New York)
After being the "Indians" for more than 25
years, Sackets Harbor Central School District sports teams changed their
nickname to the "Patriots."
The District 87 school board voted to retire Bloomington
High School's (Illinois) American Indian mascot, stating the district will
not use any mascot that reflects any identifiable group by age, race,
color, gender, religion or national origin. BHS kept the Purple Raiders
Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Kentucky, changed
it's "Indian" themed mascot to "Patriots."
The North Dakota Board of Higher Education, Grand Forks, and the University
of North Dakota all became major league losers when the North
Dakota Board of Education sold out to Nazi
enthusiast, Ralph Engelstad. Engelstad, a gambling tycoon,
threatened to withdraw funding for "Engelstad Stadium" unless the
University of North Dakota retained its "Fighting Sioux" nickname
and related stereotypic logos.
Instead of using funds to create programs or teaching
positions that might relate to American Indian interests, the University of
Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, spent over $350,000 on a report with a foregone
conclusion that supported the school's use of a ridiculous and outdated
By attempting to prevent free speech, the University of
Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, found itself faced with a lawsuit which it
eventually lost. The University had sought to prevent advocates from
contacting high school athletic recruits in order to inform them of the
school's use of a race-related sports team token.
Continuing to show ignorance, deep denial, and gross
insensitivity, the university of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana also
U.S. Department of Justice offer to intervene in the longstanding
controversy arising from the school's use of a racial sports team token.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania again showed how backward
it is by ignoring the appeals of advocates who unsuccessfully sought to change
the school's "Indians" nickname and use of a mascot bear named
Officials at the Massachusetts College of
Liberal Arts considered changing its sports teams' "Mohawks''
nickname but lacked the courage and wisdom to see the
Despite the steadfast efforts of advocates and
indications it intended to make some changes, the school district in
Laconia, New Hampshire, selfishly chose to keep its race-related
"Sachems" sports team token.
Although the school board in Danville, VT, made a wise decision to
remove an American Indian religious symbol from its high school's gym
floor, it failed to take advantage of an opportunity to retire its
race-related "Indians" sports team nickname.
Using the most stereotypic rationalizations to defend its
use of a racial slur, the Manhattan, Kansas, school district kept its
Opting to disregard a directive from the New York
State Commissioner of Education to replace its "Indian" nickname
"as soon as practical," the Canandaigua school district cited
self-serving rationalizations and retained its "Braves" nickname.
Ignoring the requests of the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs
and the expressed position of a minority rights group, Havre de Grace High
School, in Harford County, Maryland, voted to retain its American Indian symbol.
The Sequoia Union High School District and the Tomales
district, both in California, displayed a lack of moral backbone by
sidestepping the issue and retaining their "Indian" related sports
After years of refusing to listen to reason, the Huntley,
Illinois, school district found itself faced with a lawsuit over its use of
the racial slur "Redskins" for its sports team nickname.