Retire Hart High's 'Indian' Mascot

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Hart High School's 'Indian' mascot was decided upon back in 1946, when the offensive and detrimental nature of Native American imagery in sports was not yet understood. 20 years later, in 1968, the NCAI (Nation Congress of American Indians) began their ongoing campaign to end the era of harmful 'Indian' mascots. In their words, "rather than honoring Native peoples, these caricatures and stereotypes are harmful, perpetuate negative stereotypes of America’s first peoples, and contribute to a disregard for the personhood of Native peoples." Though the Indian on the logo was supposed to be removed in the 90s,these caricatures of Native Americans still remain displayed in yearbooks and on athletic posters. The retiring of the 'Indian' mascot is long overdue and as we turn in to a new decade, I urge Hart High School to change their mascot.

If your first instinct is to trivialize this issue as needless political correctness, then please keep reading. 

Our country's treatment of indigenous people, subjecting them to different kinds of violence, destroying their culture, and forcing them off their land has led to current day problems like mass impoverishment, lowered access to education, and inadequate healthcare. The use of offensive stereotypical images of Native Americans for school mascots only perpetuates these issues. A research report by Dr. Friedman details the negative effects mascots have on the mood and self-esteem of Native American youth and on non-Native Americans' views of Native Americans specifying that "these effects occur regardless of whether the Native American mascot is considered 'offensive'."

Right now, the changing of Hart High's mascot is supported by the National Congress of American Indians, the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, the Indigenous People's Movement, and Lalo Alcaraz.

Email the our high school's principal jdautremont@hartdistrict.org & district governing board members at mkuhlman@hartdistrict.org (superintendent), ddunn@hartdistrict.org, lstorli@hartdistrict.org, rjensen@hartdistrict.org, jmessina@hartdistrict.org, cmoore@hartdistrict.org, jwebb@hartdistrict.org to let them know how you feel!

Let's keep it classy, and change the mascot.

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