A deal between the state of Michigan and the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi could set a precedent for schools nationwide to get rid of racist Native American mascots.
The deal provides funds that schools could use to remove and replace mascots as part of what’s known as a “Tribal Play Pact,” a state-tribal agreement that sets out how the revenue will be shared. game, according to MLive.
One argument from school districts reluctant to change their mascots has been that the cost of changing logos and wording would be prohibitive. Arrangements like Michigan’s could offer a way forward for schools nationwide.
In December, Michigan Radio reported, the federal government approved an updated state tribal contract that sets aside funds to “promote positive relationships with and an understanding of the history and role of Indian tribes in the United States. Michigan ”in a new Michigan Native American Heritage Fund.
Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi president Jamie Stuck released a statement saying the move is meant to help schools change their mascots. “We understand that schools often do not have funds available for these types of projects and we are committed to removing this barrier,” Stuck said in the statement.
In 2013, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights filed a complaint with the federal Department of Education listing 35 schools with Native American mascots, writing that the continued use of Native American mascots “creates a hostile environment and denies equal rights. to all current and future Americans. Indian students.
The debate around Native American mascots has gained momentum in recent years with Native American groups calling on the Washington Redskins to change their name and mascot. They say the word “redskins” is a racial insult and that the image of a Native American used as a mascot has long been accused of being dehumanizing and insulting.