Push Continues in Iowa to Remove Native American Mascots in Schools
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
MASON CITY, Iowa -- The Atlanta Braves are part of this year's World Series, and their name, imagery and chant face growing backlash to be replaced with something not related to Indigenous culture, as some other pro-teams have done.
It's not just a pro-sports issue. In Iowa, there are new efforts to change mascot names in public schools.
In Mason City, the school board is discussing whether the high school's "Mohawk" nickname should be discontinued.
Le Anne Clausen de Montes, coordinator of the Iowa Change the Name Coalition and a mother of Indigenous children in the district, said while some say it is part of school tradition, it is not a reason to keep using it.
"You think about the tradition of tens of thousands of years of Indigenous peoples in North America or elsewhere, and, you know, 95 or 100 years pales in comparison," de Montes asserted.
Coinciding with the local effort is a letter from the Meskwaki Nation, which calls upon 66 schools in Iowa to retire Native-themed mascots.
Aside from arguments about school traditions, others reluctant to change these names contend they were adopted to honor Indigenous people. But groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union countered all the nicknames do is perpetuate stereotypes.
De Montes acknowledged in many cases, it is likely the nicknames were first decided upon without the intention of creating harm. She argued it speaks to a broader lack of awareness when it comes to other cultures.
"For a lot of folks, it's just simply not having good information, not knowing how to ask the questions about the use of Native American names," de Montes explained.
She feels there is less hostility toward the movement to retire these names, citing the racial reckoning from the past year. And at the pro level, franchises such as the Major League Baseball team in Cleveland are making changes. In Iowa, the Marion School District recently retired its "Indians" nickname.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
Statistics show thanks to the pandemic, Americans are now glued to their digital devices an average of 13 hours a day, up from 7 or 8 hours a day …
As Democrats in Congress struggle to get enough votes to pass new federal voter protections, Denver's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day "Marade" - a …
Today, the day after the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, comes a chance to put our ideals into action on the sixth annual National Day of Racial …
Health and Wellness
As many Virginia schools pivot back to temporary virtual learning, some students are spending more time in front of screens. In response, the …
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting public comments through the end of this month regarding a proposal which would sharply reduce m…
Connecticut has secured its first National Estuarine Research Reserve along part of the state's Long Island Sound. Conservationists applaud the news …
A ballot initiative in Missouri is seeking to change the way statewide elections are run. Currently, in the Show-Me State, there are party primaries …
Proposed legislation would end subsidies for wood-burning power plants in Massachusetts by removing biomass as an eligible fuel source for the Commonw…