Annual Mascot Issue Year in Review Recaps
2002 2001 2000 1999

 

2002 retrospective

Winners

The New Hampshire State Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution calling for local school districts to stop using American Indian sports mascots.

Coe-Brown Northwood Academy in Northwood, New Hampshire, dropped its "Comanche" mascot.

The Iowa Civil Rights Commission passed a Resolution Opposing the Use of Native American Images, Mascots, and Team Names in Iowa.

The North Carolina State Advisory Council on Indian Education issued a resolution in Support of Eliminating American Indian Descriptions Naming Mascots, Logos, and Sport Team Nicknames for North Carolina Public Schools.

Joining a chorus of groups opposed to the use of American Indian names and mascots for sports teams, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments asked the Washington, DC, NFL team to find a new name by next season.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board adopted a resolution against discriminatory logos, names, mascots and nicknames.

The Huron Valley Schools Board of Education unanimously voted to approve a recommendation changing Milford, Michigan, High School's "Redskins" mascot.

The high school in Huntley, Illinois, retired its "redskins" sports team nickname.

Marshall high school, in Marshall, Michigan,  retired its " redskins" sports team nickname.

Johnson Junior High School in Cheyenne, Wyoming, decided it was time to change the school's "redskins" mascot.

The high school in Syosset, New York, changed its "Indian" themed sports team nickname to "Red Hawks."

Washington Middle School in La Habra, California, retired its 40-year-old "Braves" nickname.

Southeastern Community College, in West Burlington, Iowa, made a smart and painless modification by dropping the "Indian" association to its "Blackhawk" nickname and changing it to reflect a bird of prey, the "Black Hawks."

Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tennessee, changed its sports team nickname from "Indians" to "Redhawks."

The Durham (North Carolina) franchise in the summer collegiate Coastal Plain League changed its nickname from Braves to Americans.

Ossining High School, Ossining, New York, retired its "Indian" sports team mascot.

Six New York city public schools were moved to change their "Indian" related sports team tokens.  The schools included: Grover Cleveland in Queens, George Westinghouse and Benjamin Banneker in Brooklyn, Urban Peace Academy in Manhattan, Curtis on Staten Island, and Brooklyn's Canarsie high school.  

Westhill High School, Syracuse, New York,  dropped the "Indian" imagery from its "Warriors" mascot

West High School in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, retired its "Indian" themed mascot.

Issaquah High School, Issaquah, Washington, retired its "Indian" sports team token. 

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts decided its sports teams will no longer be known as Mohawks.

Having already changed its "Red Raiders" nickname to "Raiders," the Patchogue-Medford school district in Patchogue, New York, dropped its use of an Indian-head logo for a more benign one incorporating an artfully designed PM.

The University of North Dakota law school faculty passed a resolution opposing that school's "Fighting Sioux" nickname and logo.

The North Dakota State University Student Senate approved a resolution that strongly opposed the use of American Indian mascots, nicknames and logos on that school's campus.

The Illinois Student Government passed a resolution calling for retirement of the "Chief Illiniwek" sports team token used by University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.   

Wisely recognizing concerns associated with stereotypes and misinformation, the YMCA of the USA began to retire its "Y-Indian Guides" and "Y-Indian Princesses" programs.

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), a senior member of the House Resources Committee and a member of the Congressional Native American Caucus, introduced the Native Act to Transform Imagery in Various Environments (NATIVE) bill in the House of Representatives and submitted
a corresponding opening statement into the Congressional Record.

California State Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg's submitted a bill aimed at making California the first state in the nation to officially prohibit state public schools from using ``Indian'' mascots considered culturally insensitive to Native Americans.

Losers

A perennial loser, the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana,  lost a "Chief Illiniwek" related lawsuit and was forced by a federal judge to pay damages to five litigants.  The decision further determined that former University of Illinois Chancellor Michael Aiken was not exempt from prosecution.  The University also faces a related legal bill of over $300,000.  The University has, of course, appealed the ruling.  Nevertheless, by maintaining the irresponsible foot- dragging tactic for which it has become well-known, a majority of  University's Board of Trustees continued to show a lack of courage and leadership.  In the process, they degrade the University's reputation and provoked strong reactions from frustrated advocates that have for years been urging the University to retire its outdated and stereotypic "Indian" sports team token.

Caving in to pressure from an alumni association that acted like spoiled children, the Seattle School Board reversed its initial decision and allowed West Seattle High School to retain its "Indians" sports team nickname

Failing to take the lead of other State School Boards, the Kansas State Board of Education Board rejected a recommendation to discontinue Indian mascots.

Totally disregarding the recommendation of its diversity committee that voted 16-7 to remove the logo, the school board in Milan, Michigan, chose to retain its schools' "Indian" related sports token. A "shocked and amazed" member of the Little River band of Ottawa Indians remarked that, "It is like the cheerleading squad is running the school district."

In a twisted bit of irony, the Cleveland "Indians" asked a federal judge to stop the Indian Motorcycle Company from using a script logo similar to the team's logo. 

Despite a large amount of public attention and concerned urging, the public school district in Eaton, Colorado, failed to make changes to its degrading "Indian" related sports team token.

Exhibiting a reactionary, lynch-mob mentality, voters in Marshall, Michigan, successfully recalled four school board members who chose to retire that district's "redskins" ethnic slur nickname.  Despite the recall, the decision concerning retirement of the mascot was upheld pending two more years of additional review.   

"Concerned citizens" similarly ousted four members of the Osseo-Fairchild (Wisconsin) school board in a recall election over a high school logo.

Tacitly approving its public schools use of the "redskins" racial slur, the school board in Cooperstown, New York, elected not to take a position on the issue and thus endorsed the slur's continued use.  Cooperstown is named after American fiction writer, James Fenimore Cooper, whose romanticized 19th century books, such as "The Last of the Mohicans," are credited in large part with creating and perpetuating the "noble savage stereotype."  

School systems in the Maryland counties of Cecil, Frederick, Harford, Wicomico, Washington, and Worcester, disregarded concerns about the institutionalized public school use of "Indian" related sports team tokens.

 

American Indian Sports Team Mascots 2003
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