A Paiute student calls for Redmen mascot name change along side community members

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As a Cedar High school student and a Paiute member, I do not feel honored to be a “Redmen”. I have been going to Cedar High School my whole high school career. I’ve seen all a lot of disrespect on my culture at the school. Being a student I never felt like I had a voice. Seeing teachers and students being okay with all the school puts out for the mascot, I felt as if I was against the whole school. I was scared to put out my opinion but as soon as someone wanted to hear my voice and how I felt, I was all for it. I don’t care if people hate me. I don’t care if I lose friends or if I’m hated on. I’m speaking for the students that feel pressured to speak up because they don’t want to deal with the hate, bullying and judgement. The students that feel like they don’t have a voice. I will take the hate and stand up for my people. I’m not doing this only for myself but for my people and my culture. I know I’m not alone but I will stand alone if I have to. – Thalia Guerrero (Enrolled Paiute member and Senior at Cedar High School)

I felt compelled to stand up and make a difference for all those people who stood up and spoke their truth.  For all those students who feel silenced and scared to speak up against the majority.  For my daughter Thalia who was intimidated by students and a teacher at Cedar High for her comments in an article for the Salt Lake Tribune. Also, for my other children who may be future students of that school.  I hope the school board really listened to those native youth and adults who poured their hearts out in front of them. Don’t let their stories be pushed aside once more. It’s time to make new traditions and gain a new spirit at Cedar High. -Halena Blandford (Enrolled Utah Paiute member-Kanosh Band)

In these days change is inevitable and it is my understanding that we as a community need to be participants in a positive future and school system for our kids.  The term honor is being used in debate but honor should be accepted by the supposedly honored and appreciated as such not a forced action by one side.  The Cedar City Paiutes namesake should be considered in the renaming process or the leaders of the tribe should be met with and negotiated with to consider the honor acceptable and the only way to keep the likeness.  This mascot is outdated, oppressive and all the students who voted on this mascot in the 1940s were Caucasians since African Americans could not attend white schools and the Native students were in boarding school being “honored”. – Evan blandford (father to enrolled Paiute members)

The Redman mascot is a tool to keep the Native people marginalized and oppressed. It is time to break down the walls and allow Native people to have to their voices heard and respected. Changing the name will not take away school pride and memories. The school board needs to consider the mascot committee’s vote 17-7 and stand by the decision. It is about the current students and future students from potential threats and backlash surrounding the Redmen name. This mascot is a symptom of racism. – Marlee Kanosh (Enrolled Utah Paiute member-Kanosh Band)

I hope this can be a time to honor the truth. Why are we not listening to our children when they speak clearly that change is inevitable and part of a better future for everyone, I want to see this not hear how it could be better, it must be better how do we honor our local tribe? That honored this land as an integral part of their dna and community those voices have been hushed for far too long and today is the day to make it right OUR community! Allow our youth to carry the torch of change. Let’s not ignore that this was brought forth by our children as a selfless act of understanding of their voyage for truth and identity with in their community. -Malake Davis

In my opinion, I feel the mascot is derogatory and offensive. The term “Redmen” was not introduced until colonial times. This topic is not about color or race but about principle. If the tables were turned would it be politically correct for a school that educates students to teach its students its ok to degrade and disregard what another feel is offensive to their prospective culture. We are in the year 2019 and I’m appalled at how out of control the discussion has evolved and escalated in a negative manner. The community needs to stick together and come to a conclusion that is done in the spirit of kindness and understanding of one another’s views and opinions regarding this matter. Be respectful and mindful of where we all come from not what we were born into. So, let’s work together on how these issues can be resolved peacefully and respectfully. “There can never be peace among nations until it is first known that true peace is within the souls of men.”  Sioux Proverb - Annette Baca

It’s time for the Redmen Mascot to change. It has become a tool of disharmony and division in our community. We have to endure and overcome these conflicts to progress as a community. I witnessed the harsh reality of this opposition when I spoke out against the mascot. I wasn’t initially opposed to the mascot until I witnessed the personal attacks coming from those who were defending the mascot’s usage. The Mascot feels like a tool of colonialism, a pillar of control over people who feel hurt by it. –Nathan Cowlishaw (aka Arizona)

Change is coming with or without people's standards on a mascot. All across the nation symbols of racism such as Confederate statues are being brought down. Even the Cleveland Indians mascot chief wahoo has been changed. So, it's now a great time to choose what side of history you want to be on while you still have a choice. –Jason Joe (Navajo)

People in this city say "I respect Natives, I don't understand how its disrespectful. I have family members in the tribe." But at the end of the day do they know what its like being a Native American in this city? I can only speak from my experience and only have heard experiences of other natives but spoiler alert its not great. People aren't going to agree with what I'm saying and I get that. I want you all to understand that local Native history is far more complex than you think it is and that its not a story of us all living together in harmony. Its a tale of oppression, betrayal and degradation.-Sam Frank (Enrolled Paiute member-Shivwits Band)

Help this Cedar High Student's voice be heard to the Iron County School Board so when they will make a decision on the 22nd they won't forget to think about all our voices.  We will not back down and continue this fight after the Board makes its decision. 





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