Maine has become the first state to ban Native American mascots at public schools, colleges, and universities, CNN reported.
Gov. Janet Mills — a Democrat who took office in January — signed the measure Thursday. It will go into effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns, the governor’s office said.
“While Indian mascots were often originally chosen to recognize and honor a school’s unique connection to Native American communities in Maine, we have heard clearly and unequivocally from Maine tribes that they are a source of pain and anguish,” Mills said in a statement. “A mascot is a symbol of pride, but it is not the source of pride. Our people, communities, and understanding and respect for one another are Maine’s source of pride and it is time our symbols reflect that.”
The new law “prohibits all Maine public schools from adopting a name, symbol or image that depicts or refers to a Native American tribe, individual, custom or tradition and that is used as a mascot, nickname, logo, letterhead or team name of the school.”
“Our tribal communities laid the foundation of our state,” state Rep. Benjamin Collings, a Democrat, said in a statement. “They are people, not mascots.”
James Francis, the tribal historian for Penobscot Nation, noted that that “argument has always been that ‘we are honoring you.’” But he added that “by passing this laws the State of Maine is truly honoring Native Americans.”
Darren Ranco, chair of Native American Programs at the University of Maine, said that “overwhelming research shows how harmful Naive mascots are to children, especially to Native children” and that the new law “ensures that our children will not be harmed by the kind of disrespectful representations of Native people that always come with these mascots.”
Ambassador Maulian Dana of Penobscot Nation said the new law “is a very personal issue for me. I have been educating and advocating for change of these mascots since I was a teenager, and it is very meaningful to have my daughter here at this signing ceremony along with our tribal leaders, allies and friends.”
The Skowhegan school board voted in March to change its “Indian” mascot after years of debate. It was the last district in Maine to use a Native American mascot.
Here’s news report on the Skowhegan school board’s decision to change the mascot:
Visit the USSA News store!
Click this link for the original source of this article.
Author: Conservative Fighters
This content is courtesy of, and owned and copyrighted by, http://conservativefighters.com and its author. This content is made available by use of the public RSS feed offered by the host site and is used for educational purposes only. If you are the author or represent the host site and would like this content removed now and in the future, please contact the USSANews.com administrator by using the contact form located in the top-left menu. Your request will be immediately honored. Please visit http://conservativefighters.com for more terrific, conservative content. The owner of this website may be paid to recommend American Bullion. The content of this website, including the positive review of American Bullion, the negative review of its competitors, and any other information may not be independent or neutral.