Change James Caldwell High School "Chiefs" Mascot and Logo

0 have signed. Let’s get to 7,500!

With the newly energized movement against racism in this country, it is urgent that we end any racist practices within our own schools and communities. The James Caldwell High School “Chiefs” mascot is a racist mascot at the expense of Native American people. We are calling on the Caldwell/West Caldwell Board of Education to change the team name, logo, and its Native American association.

No matter the initial intent in creating this mascot, the connotations and relation to the exploitation of Native Americans has already been established. Many Native American individuals, tribes, organizations and more have spoken out against the practice of Native Americans as mascots, and the JCHS mascot in particular. 

Native American mascots are extremely harmful for multiple reasons. These mascot images often perpetuate stereotypes of Natives as warlike or violent and reinforce deeply harmful depictions that are rooted in a history of oppression. Native mascots play a role in dehumanizing Native Americans and not depicting them as a fully dignified group of people. Native Mascots give opportunities for sacred aspects of culture to be appropriated and exploited. There have also been significant studies proving that Native mascots are directly harmful to Native American youth by negatively impacting students’ ideas of personal and community worth.

In a community that strives to provide a place of possibilities for all, it is imperative that our actions are reflective of our communal values. As students sit in classrooms and learn about the genocide and ongoing oppression of Native Americans, it becomes hypocritical and wrong to then look down at one's clothing only to see that exploitation continuing, all while simply trying to show pride in ones school and community. Caldwell/ West Caldwell should be making an effort to be on the right side of history, starting with changing our mascot.

Below is a link with several resources and educational articles from Native American organizations further illustrating the necessity to change the mascot, as their voices on this issue are most important, which also includes our website