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Change the official seal of the Village of Whitesboro

This petition had 9,809 supporters

Recently, I noticed a disturbing image emblazoned on the city seal of a town in my home state. The city of Whitesboro, NY proudly displays what looks like a European settler choking, or violently handling, a Native American man. According to legend, the seal represents a famous wrestling match between the city’s founder, Hugh White, and a Native American man. White won the match, thereby gaining the local Indians’ respect. But to me, this seal is anything but respectful to my people and my heritage.

I am Lenape Indian and a citizen of both the Delaware Tribe of Indians and Cherokee Nation. I want to express my disgust and disappointment in this image displayed on city police cars and letterhead. Many local nations, like the Oneida, Mohawks, Lenape, Shinnecock, Mahicans, and Onondaga, agree that the logo is very much disrespectful to Native Americans.

I think the seal is inappropriate in this day and age, and I am asking the city of Whitesboro to redesign it.

This is the 21st century. It is no longer appropriate to shroud oneself in the Confederate flag, or use Native Americans as mascots. Businesses have stopped selling Confederate memorabilia, and the Washington Redskins have been shunned for refusing to change their distasteful name. Americans are standing up and speaking out against images and rhetoric that can be construed as hateful.

This is what I ask. I, like other Native Americans, both in the US and Canada, wish you to remove the crest and replace it with a new one. We feel that the time has come. I understand that politics work slowly and this may take time, but I would like to open the conversation about adopting a new city seal in Whitesboro.

It’s time to redesign the sign to something that truly reflects the friendship between native peoples and settlers.


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