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Encourage Pascack Valley High School to Drop "Indian" Mascot

This petition had 145 supporters

To the Pascack Valley High School and Pascack Valley Regional High School District Administrators:

It has come to the attention of concerned Hillsdale and Rivervale, New Jersey residents that a mascot change might be in stow for the Pascack Valley High School "Indians," a debate which ended on the wrong side of history last time it was addressed in 2004.

For one, I would like to express my gratitude for to those who have recently brought this issue to light within the Pascack Valley Regional High School District. But, as expected, local citizens with little to no exposure to Native American cultures have expressed dismay over the potential loss of their beloved mascot.

Here, I urge the administration of both Pascack Valley High School and the Pascack Valley Regional District Board of Education to consider the following in the face of local criticism.

While Native Americans account for less than one-hundredth of a percent of the Rivervale/Hillsdale population, they exist over 5 million strong in the United States, or to say, in the world PVHS sends its students out into. Therefore it is critical that PVHS creates a community of alumni that exist on the right side of history, on the side that acknowledges that while having an "Indian" mascot may seem innocent on the surface, it perpetuates a stigma that is not only offensive to Native Americans, but that is proven dangerous to Native American conceptions of self-worth.

In her article elucidating the rudimental basics of the oppression perpetuated by "Indian" mascots, Tribal Rights Attorney Tara Houska writes the following:

The noble savage is a white-washed representation of American exceptionalism, a mythical figure who teaches school children that Manifest Destiny was a patriotic act that ended the tale of Native America for the onset of a new and better world. It overlooks the genocide endured by Native Americans, the theft of children, lands, and cultures that still occur today.

I have nothing but the utmost gratitude for the education I received at Pascack Valley. Now, as a PVHS alumni, I have been able to utilize the foundational education I received at PVHS, in addition to my exposure to the Native American communities, to hope to shape the greater community into one in which I hope to see future PVHS alumni excel in.

Pascack Valley Regional High School Administrators: Here I call on you, for the sake of Native Americans, Pascack Valley students, and our nation at large to consider all of the aforementioned in spite of local demand. Most importantly, while we understand that you cannot disregard the wishes of your tax-paying citizens, that you consider the greater community, and the direct consequences of your verdict in your final decision.



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Brenna Gradus needs your help with “Thomas DeMaio, Principal, John Puccio, Assistant Principal, Debbie Squiccimarri, Assistant Principal, Jeffrey Steinfeld, Board President, Janet Bissinger, Board Vice President: Encourage Pascack Valley High School to Drop "Indian" Mascot”. Join Brenna and 144 supporters today.