Petition to Keller Independent School District, Dr. Rick Westfall, Lisa Simmons, Mark Youngs, Tracy Johnson, Hudson Huff, Amanda Bigbee, Cecil McDaniel, Joe Griffin, Shellie Johnson, Ruthie Keyes, Chris Roof, Beverly Dixon, Craig Allen, Karina Davis, Cindy Lotton, Brad Schofield
Change Keller High School’s Offensive Mascot
I’m reviving the petition to change the racist and offensive “Indian” mascot of Keller High School. I have seen the positive steps of action that schools like Richland High (formerly Richland Rebels) and Arlington Martin (removing insensitive Native American mascot and headdress logos) have taken and I want to keep that momentum going for justice in my hometown. The original petition from 2017 started by the Society of Native Nations only had around 2,000 supporters. And the petition to keep the mascot had 10,000. An ethnicity is not a mascot. A native headdress is not for non-natives to use as their logos. A school cannot stand against racism and teach their students how to shut racism down in their surroundings while actively promoting an insensitive caricature of an entire culture. Racism is in every little thing. If we let one racist action or symbol slide, we become complacent. If a culture says it’s racist, your job is not to say “well you should feel honored.” You cannot be the last school toting a racist mascot when so many teams and schools are already moving forward. Social and racial justice is long overdue and it starts in your school. Stop romanticizing racist traditions. An offensive mascot is not “A Tradition of Excellence”, Keller ISD. The following is from the original petition by the Society of Native Nations: This petition has been created to advocate for the Superintendent of Keller ISD to change the mascot at Keller High School, located in Keller, TX. We are asking that Keller High School stop the cultural racism and discriminatory educational practices towards Native American Indians There are several reasons why the Indigenous people of this land should not be made into caricatures or mascots but most importantly, “I am not your mascot”. “We are not your mascot” "No people, race, culture, religion or spirituality should not be a mascot". Native Americans are Human Beings that are alive today, whose Ancestors survived genocide and died to protect our traditional way of life. It is said that this mascot and others are to “Honor Us”. There are other ways to honor the Indigenous people of this continent, such as “Honoring our Treaties” or not bulldozing through our sacred sites. Perhaps starting scholarships to help our youth attend college as we have the highest rates of poverty in the nation. But making Native Americans "people" into mascots or caricatures are not honoring us. It is demeaning and does not properly represent who we are. It has been proven by the American Psychological Association that such mascots, actually harm our youth and teach non-native youth that cultural appropriation is socially acceptable. Furthermore, the use of headdresses within this high school is unacceptable and should not be mimicked as it disrespects what we know to be sacred. No one's culture should be for sale, nor should it be available for just anyone to take and decide what is “honorable” or “noble” because someone assumes it is acceptable to appropriate a race of people culture and beliefs. The Indigenous people of this land have suffered, been knocked down to their knees, but we are still here and we DO EXIST. Our way of life, our ceremonies, our traditions, our language, our teachings all are very sacred to us and having such a mascot, like the “Keller Indians”, having “Indianettes” or their cheerleaders attempting to dress like we do, having students and supporters painting their faces to look like like Indians perpetuates stereotyping and undermines the true education a student may possibly receive but has been clouded by the school’s ill perception of what an Indigenous person is. We as Native people as well as Non-Native people have come together to address this issue because we are concerned and appalled that even in today’s time, some of our schools are still teaching our children racism and desensitizing them from racial stereotypes of Native American’s which leads to racist bullying, discrimination, depression, cultural issues, and low self-esteem issues among our children. Many Native American Indian children exposed to this type of cultural racism will grow to be ashamed of who they are and their cultural identity because of this abuse. Educational institutions and teachers have a professional responsibility to eliminate racism in all aspects of school life; schools and teachers should not ignore multicultural issues in school but rather address them to provide a more positive learning environment for all students. Having the children play dress up in stereotypical cartoon character-like costumes beating a hand drum, carrying a play tomahawk, feather fans or headdresses, painting faces, doing the tomahawk chops, hand over the mouth yelling or putting their hand up in the air and saying “how” are examples of inauthentic representations of American Indian cultures. Many school officials claim they are honoring American Indians and insist that their school's sponsored activities are not offensive. We argue otherwise, and contend that these racist activities are forms of cultural violence in schools. Of course, many school administrators are all too familiar with the current legal and educational battles toward eliminating Indian mascots, logos, nicknames, and antics from school-related events. The US Commission on Civil Rights (CAR), the highest official governmental body of its kind, issued a strong statement in 2001 recommending that schools eliminate Indian images and nicknames as sports symbols.10 Grassroots efforts of thousands of American Indian parents nationwide prompted this decision among CAR members. Moreover, the critical mass of American Indian educational organizations and professionals supported the CAR too. Indian educators showed school officials that negative images, symbols, and behaviors play a crucial role in distorting and warping American Indian children’s' cultural perceptions of themselves as well as non-Indian children’s' negative attitudes toward and simplistic understanding about American Indian Peoples. Most of these proverbial stereotypes are manufactured racist images that prevent millions of school-age students from understanding the past and current authentic human experience of American Indians As for those that have spoken up to say that they are Native American Indian and do not find this to be offensive.We say to you, IF you do not follow the spirituality of your ancestors, IF you do not follow the teachings of your people, IF you do not do the ceremonies of your people, IF you do not have a people and community you are accountable to that do follow and are connected to their spirituality and ancestors and or, if you follow a foreign religion or mindset, then you are NOT sincere to the ancestors, spirituality, and teachings of Native American Indian people. So you can NOT and should NOT speak for the Native American Indian community on whats best for them or what is offensive to them or not, because you will not understand if you do not know the history and or if you are not connected to the way of life and spirituality of Native American Indian communities that ARE telling you that this type cultural racism and discriminatory educational practices are bad for all people, especially children and must be stopped if we are to have a better future for all people to better understand and respect one another. Superintendent of Keller ISD, we respectfully request that you remove Keller High School’s mascot. You would not approve of any other race or culture of people being used as a mascot, so please do not do it with our people.
Petition to Esko township and Duluth's surrounding areas
Change the mascot of Esko, MN from esk*mo to something that’s not a racial slur.
Although many may not be aware, the term Eskimo is a racial slur used against indigenous people. Esko high school’s mascot is an Eskomo. Saying Eskomo is no better than Eskimo, just like a white person saying n—a is no better than saying n—er even though people like to pretend it is. Using this watered down version of the word is still offensive, not to mention that using indigenous people as a mascot is dehumanizing and racist. Among the civil unrest of our country, we can no longer pretend that our school’s mascot is harmless so I propose we change it to something better.
Petition to Fullerton Union Joint High School
Change Fullerton Union High School’s Indian Mascot
Fullerton Union High School has had issues about changing their mascot on multiple occasions but no changes have ever been made. This school is made up of 20% white students and mostly white staff members. FULLERTON UNION HIGH SCHOOL UPHOLDS RACISM BY: 1. The school’s “mascot” 2. Calling themselves ‘Home of the Indians’ and having a Native American man wearing his sacred feathers on their school logo when the staff, students and the district do NOT represent the people they are exploiting. 3. Grouping Native Americans with the likes of animals to represent a mascot ( It is also extremely RACIST and DEHUMANIZING! And they also have their TERMINOLOGY wrong! INDIANS are from INDIA!) 4. According to the school’s website, 66% of the students are Latinx YET while looking through the website Latinx students are NOT reflected anywhere in the pictures. 5. The fact that the Principal Laura Rubios allows students to use the hashtag “IndianforLife” or “IndianNation” without any consequences or repercussions 6. The staff, does NOT reflect the students they serve. The staff only represents 20% of their student body. 7. The school is proud to uphold the status quo aka racism and systemic forms of oppression and have murals all over the campus to prove it The list goes on and on! We are experiencing a political climate where we can no longer tolerate any form of oppression or racism! IT NEEDS TO END! We are fed up with the microagressions, symbolic, and systemic racism! It starts from our communities and it is our responsibility to speak up and dismantle every form of oppression and disrespect to our communities! Please sign this petition to finally rid ourselves of this horrific representation of our Native people. They deserve respect and we need to stand by them and remove the mascot! Together we can make this change! It is long overdue. Thank you for standing with us on this fight!
Petition to Minooka Community High School
Change Minooka Community High School’s Mascot
For decades, MCHS has been the “Home of the Indians,” a promotional catchphrase that is insensitive to Native Americans of the past, as well as those currently residing in our community. Some argue that this choice of mascot honors the Native Americans; however, representing ourselves as “Indians” in a stereotypical manner is dehumanizing, and many Native Americans have expressed their opposition to this harmful practice. The National Congress of American Indians kindly explains that mascots like the “Minooka Indians” “perpetuate negative stereotypes of America’s first peoples, and contribute to a disregard for the personhood of Native peoples.” The unfortunate truth is, Indian mascots were created in a society where bigotry and racism were widely accepted. As our school continues to grow, we need to leave indifference and ignorance about racial issues in the past and make necessary changes to move forward. We urgently propose that Minooka Community High School change our mascot.
Petition to John Robison (Davis School District Board of Education President), Reid P. Newey (Davis School District Superintendent), Liz Mumford (Davis School District Board of Education Vice President), Julie Tanner (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Brigit Gerrard (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Gordon Eckersley (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Marie Stevenson (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Cheryl Phipps (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Randy Lewis (Bountiful City Mayor), Lorene Miner Kamalu (Davis County Commission Chair), Bob J Stevenson (Davis County Commission Vice Chair), Randy B Elliott (Davis County Commissioner), Aaron Hogge (Bountiful High School Principal), Douglas Hammerschmidt (Bountiful High School Assistant Sr High Principal), Travis Warnick (Bountiful High School Assistant Sr High Principal)
Change Bountiful High School's Offensive and Racist Mascot
I graduated from Bountiful High in 2013. In the wake of recent events, I wanted to draw attention to the offensive, outdated, and racist mascot of Bountiful High School, the Brave and advocate for a change. As we see a shift on the national level with professional teams reevaluating their racist mascots, we are hoping to make one here, closer to home. It's shameful and embarrassing to me that Bountiful High is one out of the three high schools in Utah that still uses an indigenous person as their mascot. It is not right that a rich culture and history is being reduced to a mascot. The idea of changing the mascot has been explored in the past, but there have been minimal changes to the representation of Indigenous peoples in the school. Now is the time to change the mascot and rectify the years of inherent and obvious racism at the heart of Bountiful High School. Let's work together to change that. The predominant argument against changing our mascot, the Brave, is that it's part of our history and tradition. That type of tradition has no place in the future of the school, and is not something that the community should be proud of. It is inappropriate to use the images and culture of indigenous people in this manner. Native Americans and indigenous people have rich history and culture and should not be reduced to a stereotype or caricature. Some of the common practices of the student body are wearing face paint and headdresses while screaming “war cries” at sporting events and assemblies and it is unacceptable. Homecoming parties are called Pow-wows, insensitive chants are used at school events, and tomahawk chops were common practice. These are only a few of the things embedded into the Bountiful High School culture that are inherently racist and unethical. As an institution of education that teaches students about the negative results of racism and social injustice, Bountiful High cannot continue using this mascot and logo while teaching against it. Students can be proud of their school without having to wear shirts and accessories that appropriate another culture. During my time at Bountiful High, I participated in these practices and was uninformed about their harm. It is the job of the adult educators, faculty, administration, school board, and superintendent to ensure that the students they are responsible for understand the impact of their own actions. In my case, no adult ever pointed out the ramifications, inherent racism, and harm of the cultural appropriation that was rampant at Bountiful High School. I am teaching myself as an adult and want to make a change so future students don't have to live with the shame and regret over participating in racist traditions many of us Bountiful Alumni are grappling with today. Please remove this harmful mascot, and build a new future and traditions for Bountiful High School. I believe the students and community can come together and create new ideas for a mascot more fitting of our Bountiful values! (The photo used in this petition was taken from Bountiful High's Facebook Page, is currently their profile picture, and uploaded as of 10/27/2018)
Petition to Kern High School District, Kern County Superintendent of Schools, Bakersfield City Council
Mascot change at a local high school
A local high school in Bakersfield CA has a mascot that is racially charged. The high school, established in 1957, is named South High School and has the mascot of The Rebels. Even the schools colors are that of the confederate army in the time of the Civil War. Given the current climate and time for change, I believe it is time to update the schools’ mascot and address systematic racism by removing symbols of underlying negative and racial connotations. You can call the Kern High School District in Bakersfield CA at (661) 827-3100 and voice your opinion on this necessary mascot name change.
Petition to Manhattan High School, Manhattan city council, Manhattan Residents
Change Manhattan High Schools Mascot
The High School in our lovely town's mascot is depicted as a Chief that they called "Indian". The name Indian is a derogatory term towards Native Americans and has been since Christopher Columbus set foot here. As someone who is from a (sadly extinct) tribe, moving here and seeing the use of a Chief as a mascot, along with the use of Indian to describe them, blew my mind. Native Americans are not your mascot, they're people. No one would like if we used "Caucasians" as a mascot, and there would most definitely be an uproar about how it's "racist" and "belittling" towards white people. As the protest from Native Americans comes to all the schools and sport teams in the US, using their culture as a mascot goes on, it goes ignored. Thankfully, a few years back, Manhattan High School stopped using a ceremonial headdress, a traditional piece that is custom made for Native Americans for ceremonies that has different meanings depending on the feathers added to said headdress, as a costume during games and pep rallies. Changing the mascot is a great step towards helping lower the amount of racist schools using an entire culture as a mascot. We can change the mascot to an animal like almost every other school in our town. We could change it to a dragon or a wolf and be one step closer to changing the way Americans see Native Americans and their Tribes in this country.
Petition to Brian Capistran, GUHSD Superintendent, Pam Reicks, GUHSD Board President, Patti Hussey, GUHSD Board Clerk, Patty Kennedy, GUHSD Board Member, Susan Maland, GUHSD Board Member, Andrew Pulcipher, GUHSD Board Member, Jason Latham, Thunderbird HS Principal, John Pierzchala, Thunderbird HS Assistant Principal, Layne Peterson, Thunderbird HS Assistant Principal, Dawn Bjork, Thunderbird HS Assistant Principal
Change Thunderbird High School's Racist Mascot
Thunderbird High School of Phoenix, Arizona must change their mascot. Their current mascot- The Chiefs- is offensive to the culture of Native Americans. The native headdress, depicted in Thunderbird’s logo, is extremely sacred. It is unacceptable for a high school to diminish its value by mimicking the customs that an entire culture upholds. In the words of a Native American student who attends Thunderbird High School: “Being at the assemblies was usually fun and just a good time, but the second I saw white student council members wearing mock headpieces it made me uncomfortable. My friends and I just started discussing how quite frankly stupid they looked, and how it showed how little education they had on Native American culture. But what truly offended me was that the staff at my school allowed this. The mascot being a literal culture is just a free passage way for the students to mock our culture when they know only little to nothing about the sacredness of the headpieces and chants.” Students at Thunderbird are generally unaware of the racism that their mascot encompasses. This is most likely a result of their school system’s failure to teach about Native American history and tradition. We ask that Thunderbird High School ends its insensitivity towards Native Americans. The first step: changing its logo and mascot. There are thousands of students across the country taking action to change their offensive mascots. Keller High School in Keller, Texas currently has the mascot- The Indians. In a 2017 petition to change this mascot, the Society of Native Nations stated: “There are several reasons why the Indigenous people of this land should not be made into caricatures or mascots but most importantly, ‘I am not your mascot’. ‘We are not your mascot’ ‘No people, race, culture, religion or spirituality should not be a mascot’. Native Americans are Human Beings that are alive today, whose Ancestors survived genocide and died to protect our traditional way of life.” In fact, Thunderbird High School and all other schools in the Glendale Union High School District are built on O'odham, Akimel O'odham, and Hohokam land. Given that our schools have only flourished at the expense of Native American ground, the least Thunderbird can do is to quit flaunting racist imagery across campus. Our ultimate goal is to create a community of informed and tolerant students. This will never be possible if Thunderbird maintains its derogatory habits. To Superintendent Capistran, District President Reicks, Principal Latham, and all other members of the Glendale Union High School District board and Thunderbird High School administration: Show honor and respect toward the Indigenous people of this country. Stop normalizing cultural appropriation. Teach Arizona’s youth the importance of diversity and respect. End Thunderbird’s display of intolerance. Change the mascot. Sign this petition to demand that Glendale Union High School District removes the current mascot of Thunderbird High School- The Chiefs. It is a simple, attainable step in the direction towards a culturally aware Thunderbird community. The outdated mascot, offensive logo, and mockery headpieces worn at assemblies, all need to go. Thank you for signing. Sources: https://www.change.org/p/change-keller-high-school-mascot https://native-land.ca/