State of Nebraska

Judi M. Morgan, Executive Director
State Capitol, 6th Floor, P.O. Box 94981
Lincoln, Nebraska (USA) 68509-4981
Phone: (402) 471-3475
Facsimile: (402) 471-3392



RES. #99-2

WHEREAS, the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs was formed pursuant to LB 904, 1971, and section 81-1215 which  sets out the purpose of the Commission which shall be to join representatives of all Indians in Nebraska to do all  things which it may determine to enhance the cause of Indian rights and to develop solutions to problems  common to all Nebraska Indians, including assisting Native peoples preserve their traditions, values, spirituality,  religions and cultures; and

WHEREAS, many elementary, junior and senior high school, college and national sports teams including a significant number of Nebraska schools, continue to have symbols, logos, and names that depict American Indian people in a  negative light, categorizing their proud cultures and heritage along with mascots of animals and inanimate objects;  nd

WHEREAS, such prestigious entities as the National Congress of American Indians, the National Education Association, the Governors' Interstate Indian Council, along with Nations, Tribes and Bands (and numerous respected Indian organizations) have spoken out against the use and misuse of American Indian imagery; and

WHEREAS, exposure to displays of cultural stereotypes serve to perpetuate ignorance and racism against diverse cultures,  and such teams and mascots have never been honorary or respectful, but instead perpetuates a pejorative, derogatory, denigrating, offensive and racist designation of Native Americans; and

WHEREAS, Indian children deserve an education that exposes them to positive role models which enhance their self-image,  fosters and atmosphere wherein self-esteem and cultural identity are nurtured, and where an attitude of safe,  respectful learning is equitably provided regardless of race or cultural affiliation; and

WHEREAS, schools that use names, logos or mascots, or other cultural abuses and stereotypes, separate, marginalize, confuse, intimidate and harm Indian children and create barriers to their learning throughout their school experience; and

WHEREAS, allowing logos which denigrate Native peoples' cultures, sacred objects, ceremonial traditions, and components of traditional dress, to remain unchallenged within our educational institutions teaches both Indian and non-Indian children to tolerate and accept racism in our schools; and

WHEREAS, other cultures and religious groups, are not used as mascots for the purposes of school or professional sports leagues and their fans, nor would such mascots or negative imagery be tolerated within any public or private school or business without an outcry from the citizens of the great State of Nebraska as an affront to basic human rights and dignity; and

WHEREAS, the dictates of moral principles that protect other United States citizens need to be expanded to include this country and state's first citizens, American Indians; and

WHEREAS, the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs' mission statement encourages the education of both Indian and non-Indian peoples with regards to racism, cultural diversity and civil/human rights issues that impact the lives of Nebraska's Indian citizens and their children; and

WHEREAS, the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs is committed to banishing racism and stereotyping, including negative imagery, by educating Nebraska's citizenry with regards to cultural sensitivity and the rich diversity Nebraska's citizenry with regards to cultural sensitivity and the rich diversity Nebraska's Tribes and Indian people bring to our lives; and

WHEREAS, the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs believes that advocating for the removal of names, logos and/or other mascots depicting Indian people or their cultures strengthens and promotes a spirit of tolerance and social justice within Nebraska, modeling for all our children the traits of thoughtfulness, courage and respect for all Nebraska citizens; and

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, in its continuing efforts to  extinguish racism and cultural exploitation in society's institutions, especially Nebraska educational institutions, where Indian citizens are not always treated with the same respect and equity as non-Indian citizens, calls upon all Nebraska schools and institutions of higher learning, their students, teachers, administrators, families and supporters, to call for a halt to the use of tribal symbols, religious objects, and depictions of tribal peoples by other than schools who student body is made up of predominately Indian students, to ensure that the language, cultures, and religions of Indian Tribes are not demeaned, and that Indian students are provided with appropriate representations of themselves in texts and the media; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs authorizes it officers and staff to support this resolution by seeking the support of Governor Johanns, the Commissioner of Education, the Nebraska Legislature, and all interested individuals and organizations to end the use of Native American logos, symbols, and names as mascots in Nebraska schools by December 31, 1999.

We, the undersigned officers of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, certify that on the 19th day of April, 1999, the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs voted to adopt the above resolution by a vote of eleven (11) for, zero (0) against, one (1) abstention, one (1) unavailable to vote, and the Chair assenting (but not voting, except in case of a tie).


                                                                                                              (signed)    Clyde Tyndall, Vice Chair

                                                                                                              (signed)     Judi M. Morgan, Executive Director

           SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before
me by Clyde Tyndall and Judi M. Morgan this 19th day of April, 1999

                                                                          (signed)     M. Sue Settell, Notary Public