Wisconsin Bans Indian Mascots!

In indian mascots, mascot ban, wisconsin by Adrienne K.5 Comments

As of this week, schools in Wisconsin using race-based mascots can be fined up to $1,000 a day. This law has been a long time coming, the first form of it was presented to the state over 30 years ago. The way the law works is that parties can submit complaints to the state, and after a hearing, if the school is found to be in violation, they can face fines of up to $1,000 per day if they continue to use the image and name.

This is awesome news, and I can only hope that this is signaling a change that many other states will follow! Yay Wisconsin!

Read the whole article here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127987743

AK Programming note: I thought this was a fitting time to talk about Wisconsin, since I’m actually at the airport, en route to Wisconsin. I’m headed to Lawrence University, which is hosting College Horizons, an incredible program for Native high school students to learn about the college application process. I’m an alum of the program, and this is my third time returning as faculty. If you know of any Native high schoolers, encourage them to apply for next summer! They also host a graduate school version called Graduate Horizons for those of you a bit older. Seriously one of the best programs for Native students out there. 

(Thanks Mom and Katie for sending the article!)
  • Good news!!! My friend shared this article with me earlier this week! By the way I had a friend from high school who attended Lawrence University, she really enjoyed her time there although it is a pricey school. I am liking Wisconsin more and more. In fact, I am going to interview for a job with a tribe in northeastern Wisconsin next week! 😀

  • There’s a lot more to this story than has been reported. While the state legislature has been moving forward on this there’s been a lot of backlash to it locally with people responding like people did (and still do) with the removal of mascots like the Stanford Indian. One of these high schools being affected is the Kewaskum Indians, a high school in my county when I was in HS.
    My wife went to Kewaskum and was contacted about a year ago regarding a petition going around the community and alumni to keep the mascot what it is. Needless to say the mascot is a standard bust of an “Indian” with full headress. MY wife passed the e-mail on to me and I responded by telling this woman how this affects Native kids and related a couple stories about how this impacted myself and others in the community when we played their team as HS students. I suggested to her that we get together if she’d like to know more but never heard anything. The petition is still moving forward gathering signatures. There’s even a facebook site:
    Anyway, I’m not convinced this act is a good representation of the standard Wisconsin population but hopefully a good step forward.

  • I’m using the Facebook link there to “report page” as “racist/hate speech”.

  • This is great to hear! I went to Wauwatosa East High School, and we were the Red Raiders. By the time I went through they had discontinued the official use of the Indian head mascot, but a lot of booster clubs still used it on t-shirts and things, to “stick it to the man” for removing it. The name was still in use, though, and our symbol was an arrow with stone arrowhead. The arrowhead has been removed now, and while the new symbol for the school isn’t all that great, it’s better than what was there in the past. Not sure if they still use “Red Raiders” though.

  • What about a place like where I went to school?
    We co-opped with the local reservation, and our mascot was (approved by the tribe) the warriors.
    How will this fall under the legislation?