native american

109 petitions

Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Christine Tona, Adam Savino, Ben Dilullo, David Furaro, Michael Martin, Lucy Massafra, Tanner McCracken, Fernando Martinez, Michael Simone, Jonathan Schneider

Retiring Mahopac's 'Indian' Mascot

Since its founding over 80 years ago, Mahopac Central School District has perpetuated inequity and capitalized on colonialism. Despite our district claiming “it’s…important to us that students’ social, emotional, and overall wellbeing is supported,” our community continues to ignore bigotry as an issue. Have we forgotten the headlines denoting four instances of racism related to Mahopac student conduct—once in 2012, twice in 2014, and again in April of this year? Turning a blind eye to toxic ideology will only exacerbate the problem for current and future generations living in our community. In a comprehensive research report by Brown University’s Dr. Michael A. Friedman, “Indian” sports mascots were shown to harmfully “perpetuate negative stereotypes of America’s first peoples and contribute to a disregard for the personhood of Native peoples.” Furthermore, “hundreds of tribal nations, national and regional tribal organizations, civil rights organizations, school boards, sports teams, sports and media personalities, and individuals have called for the end to harmful Indian mascots.” Currently, Native Americans are still being oppressed and marginalized in society. They face the continual loss of territory due to oil industry buyouts, voter repression via unjust legislation, and high levels of violence, especially toward Native women (which is often disregarded by local authorities) among many other injustices. Mahopac’s “Indian” mascot is a reminder of these acts of divisiveness and marginalization, which further emphasizes our community’s inability to eliminate racism. We need to unite together to end the racial discrimination scarring our community by removing a symbol that has held us back from healing for far too long. Therefore, I propose that instead of complacency, we implement a united systemic transformation of belief. My action plan involves three steps: Community engagement, educational forum development, and rebranding. Step 1 involves you. I am calling upon individuals to sign this petition to inform the School Board of the Mahopac Central School District and Christine Tona, the superintendent of the Mahopac Central School District, of our concerns and propose the solutions addressed in Steps 2 and 3. Step 2 involves the community. Together we can develop an open forum for our municipality to safely and appropriately discuss taboo topics (i.e., race, gender, ethnicity). Let us better ourselves through conversation and education. Lastly, Step 3 involves Adidas. In 2015, Adidas launched the “Mascot Change” initiative, which is a voluntary program for high schools that “would give schools access to the company’s design team for logo redesign and uniform design across all sports.” This is a grant-funded initiative that requires a simple proposal from a school district to instigate change at little monetary and temporal cost. It is not my intention to eliminate Native American culture from Mahopac entirely. The biggest issue in our mascot, besides its racist connotation, is that there is no public education regarding the ancestors of our land. Together, we can celebrate and learn about the Wappinger tribe that lived on this territory, and how Mahopac as we know it came to be. There is irony surrounding our pride for the “Mahopac Indians” without knowing anything about the tribe’s history. All three steps can engage the community toward fostering a more inclusive neighborhood. In our current cultural climate, many people will feel that this initiative is too “politically correct” and that they are not responsible for what happened to Native Americans. No, we may not be independently responsible for the genocide and injustices that Native American communities have faced throughout history; however, we are responsible for the cultural appropriation that Mahopac has undertaken in using the “Indian” as our mascot. There is precedent from nearby districts taking action to address similar appropriation. In 2002, Ossining High School changed its “Indian” mascot after the state education commissioner “requested that districts stop using American Indian symbols as mascots”. Most recently, in November 2019, Superintendent Andrew Selesnick voted with the Katonah-Lewisboro School Board to retire their 'Indian' mascot stating: "In 2019, maintaining the mascot is at odds with our educational mission...If we are to teach our students the importance of truly listening when someone or some group tells us that our behavior or our words are harmful or unwelcome, then we as a district should serve as a model.” By separating ourselves from a symbol of imperialist oppression, we can begin the process of redeveloping our values as a community. I am proud and privileged to have grown up in Mahopac, but without a plan to curb the harmful rhetoric that has been tolerated for far too long, our district will be known for our tolerance for racism, rather than the wealth of knowledge and abundant resources in our area. ~Sincerely, Daniel Ehrenpreis, 2012 graduate of Mahopac High School

Daniel Ehrenpreis
7,939 supporters
Started 1 month ago

Petition to

Protect Sachem's Identity and History

The New York State Board of Regents voted to ban all Native American mascots, names, and imagery from school districts across the state. This ban will impact the SACHEM Central School District on Long Island. PURPOSE OF THE PETITION: Please sign this petition to show your support for keeping Sachem's name, moniker, and logo intact and preserving our community's identity. BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT: As of April 19, when this petition was started, the ban's guidelines are still unclear, but we know that our SACHEM name, Flaming Arrows moniker, and arrowhead logo may be impacted. Every district building - plus several aspects of the buildings - is also potentially at risk of failing to comply with these measures.  As a passionate and proud alumni group - some 60,000 strong - we want to be crystal clear that our entire school community was built on the premise of honoring Native American culture and heritage. SACHEM is a unique community with a rich tradition, spirit, and pride that you can only understand if you grew up here and bought into the culture. Changing any of SACHEM's branding, names, or logo would devastate our community’s identity. Remember, this is not just an average school district but a large community comprising several hamlets and villages with nearly 90,000 taxpayers. We hope to honor and bring forth Native American heritage through our school community, not “harass or discriminate” as the Dignity for All Students Act suggests. How are we honoring Native Americans? Our entire district is dedicated to their heritage in name, iconography, and the rich appreciation we show toward history. Ask our social studies teachers who teach about Native American history, ask our student-athletes who are proud to wear that name on their chest because of what it represents, and ask a majority of the alumni group what it means to be from SACHEM.  OTHER SUGGESTIONS: While we want to preserve our community's identity, we also want to provide more education on Native American culture while creating opportunities to have Native Americans come to the schools to talk about their story. This movement is as much about progressing toward open dialogue and communication with all stakeholders as it is about protecting who we are as a community. #GoArrows I #WeAreSachem I #ArrowUp

Sachem Alumni
4,148 supporters
Update posted 5 months ago

Petition to County Supervisor Nathan Magsig, Paul Nerland, Assemblyman Jim Patterson, Congressman Tom McClintock, Dunlap Band of Mono Indians, Traditional Choinumni Tribe, Wukchumni Tribal Council, Wuksachi (Eshom Valley Band)


What if I told you there was one common word sexual predators of Native American women used?  What if I told you some individuals vehemently defend the term as a word of honor and respect?  What if I told you an entire community was named after this word? That word is "squaw”.  Although the word “squaw” is defined as a North American Indian woman or wife, it is clear that the term is now offensive due to its pejorative usage over time, despite the lack of awareness by Non-Native Americans. The historical roots of the term “squaw” suggests it emphasizes sexual desires when the term was used; to mean female genitalia; and to denote a Native American woman who provides sexual satisfaction. The term “squaw” in American literature shows that it describes a Native American woman who is a failed “princess”.  While an “Indian Princess” was thought to be natural, wholesome, virtuous, honorable, and connote virginity; the “squaw” was considered to be ugly, debased, immoral, and a sexual convenience that lived a squalid life of servile toil and openly available to Non-Native men.   The word “squaw” epitomizes the racism and sexism Native American women face. I am an enrolled member of the Dunlap Band of Mono Indian Tribe and self identify as also Choinumni, both tribally indigenous to the valley.  Not only do the indigenous tribes to the valley remain Non-Federally recognized, its unconscionable that all of our mothers and daughters continue to be subjected to such blatant disrespect. Its 2022, not one more day!  Names are powerful, helping to form our identity; they are a significant contributor to one's self esteem.   Sign and stand with us, amplifying our call to respect our community, all impacted grandmothers, mothers, daughters, future Native American female generations, and Mother Earth, to end the use of a pejorative, specific for Native American women, for geographic naming.   WEBSITE: LINK TO PROPOSED RESOLUTION Contact: (559) 581-2893 /          LOCATION:  "Squaw Valley" is a census-designated place located in Fresno County, California, United States of America (zip codes 93646 & 93675)

Roman Rain Tree
36,714 supporters