Annual Mascot Issue Year in Review Recaps
2002 2001 2000 1999

Year 2001 in Review


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 Symbols.

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.

The American 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, Connecticut)

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 University passed 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  donated $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 tokens.

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 to change.

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 nickname, "Redskins." 

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 "Braves" nickname.

Exhibiting more courage, wisdom, and responsibility than Illinois' flagship university, Champaign public schools removed all Chief Illiniwek material from hallways and classrooms.

Sam Houston school in San Antonio, Texas, exchanged its "Indians" nickname in favor of "Hurricanes."

Muskegon High school retained its "Big Red" nickname but took steps to retire its "Indian boy" dance and related logos.  (Michigan)

Niles 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 and mascot.

Bloomington High School replaced its "Indian" mascot. (Illinois)

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 School's Arrows.

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 nickname.

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 "Indian" mascot.

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 rejected a 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 "Cherokee."

Officials at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts considered changing its sports teams' "Mohawks''  nickname but lacked the courage and wisdom to see the task through.

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 "Redskins" nickname.

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 team tokens.

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. 


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