Confirmed victory

Ban Native American Mascots in Oregon

This petition made change with 208 supporters!

The Oregon State Board of Education will decide whether to ban Native American Mascots on 05-17-2012.

There is an extensive amount of knowledge and credible research that Native American symbols as mascots, logos, and team names promotes stereotyping, pupil harassment and discrimination. The continued use of American Indian mascots, symbols, images, and personalities by school systems have a negative impact on the self-esteem of American Indian children.

While the communities of these high schools believe they are honoring Native Americans, there is a growing body of social science literature and empirical research that indicates there are harmful effects of such racial stereotyping and inaccurate racial portrayals. These stereotypes are particularly harmful to the social identity development and self-esteem of American Indian young people. Research indicates that using Native Americans as mascots promotes discrimination, pupil harassment, and stereotyping.

The Oregon State Board of Education has been given the responsibility by the Oregon Legislature in state statute to ensure that persons are not subjected to unlawful discrimination in our public schools on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age or disability. Native American students are also entitled to an educational environment that is not hostile and is conducive to the attainment of educational goals. The board has a responsibility to consider the research and weigh this against the community’s desire to maintain its traditions.

In 2001, the United States Commission on Civil Rights called “for an end to the use of Native American images and team names by non-Native schools.” The Commission concluded that “[t]hese references, whether mascots and their performances, logos, or names, are disrespectful and offensive to American Indians and others who are offended by such stereotyping” and “are particularly inappropriate and insensitive in light of the long history of forced assimilation that American Indian people have endured in this country.”

"This is a human rights issue; we are being denied the most basic respect. As long as our people are perceived as cartoon characters or static beings locked in the past, our socio-economic problems will never be seriously addressed. Also, this issue of imagery has a direct correlation with violence against Indian people and the high suicide rate of our youth." -Michael S. Haney (Seminole)

 -American Psychological Association called for the immediate retirement of all American Indian mascots, symbols, images, and personalities by schools, colleges, universities, athletic teams and organizations

- In 2007, the American Sociological Association called for the elimination of the use of Native American nicknames, logos, and mascots in sports, and stated, in part, “Recent social science research and scholarship have shown that the continued use of Native American nicknames, logos, and mascots in sports reflects and reinforces misleading stereotypes of Native Americans in both past and contemporary times.

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