Change North Haven’s Mascot

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The North Haven Public Schools “Indian” mascot insensitively depicts a stereotypical Native American. This imagery is an inaccurate conception of Indigenous individuals, representing the largely racist perception of overwhelmingly white communities of people—ancestrally Native colonizers. These mascots, caricatures and cartoons, perpetuate the harmful stereotyping of Indigenous peoples and an overall disregard for Indigenous lives and stories. Indigenous people and their diversity of unique cultures do not exist for anyone’s consumption, marketing, or “town pride.” According to the National Congress of American Indians, derogatory "Indian" sports mascots have serious psychological, social and cultural consequences for Native Americans, especially Native youth. Tribes across the country have called on sports teams to put an end to their exploitative branding at their expense. However, many refuse to enact any real changes. This change will demand this predominantly white, suburban community to acknowledge and understand the systemic racism that the persistence of this mascot endorses. Despite the multiple attempts to change the mascot in the past, in 2020, it is time we reckon with the real damages done to Indigenous communities through the town’s participation in and distribution of anti-Indigenous media. In addition, there should be much more space allotted to the history of BIPOC communities in all school curricula.