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Camanche High School to change mascot at the end of the school year

The school is dropping the controversial use of the "Indians" title after years of wider controversy about the use of Native American mascots.

CAMANCHE, Iowa — A local high school is retiring its mascot at the end of the school year due to its controversial nature.

The Camanche School District's Board voted 5-1 to end the use of the high school's "Indians" mascot and title, which had been in use since 1961, when the district first organized.

The mascot's follows a wider nationwide trend of schools and sports terms removing Native American terminology and imagery from their branding, as many activist groups, Native American tribal nations, and members of the general public has deemed the use of such icons to be insensitive and offensive. 

Notable cases of other organizations making this same change include the rebranding of the Washington Football Team in the NFL and the upcoming revision to the Cleveland Indians in the MLB.

"We do need to acknowledge that no other races of people are used as mascots. As sincerely stated by Lawrence SpottedBird, the Executive Director of the Meskwaki Nation, 'All we want is to be thought of and treated as human beings like everyone else. No more, no less.'", said Superintendent Thomas Parker in a letter to the school board on February 15. "Although Mr. SpottedBird’s quote speaks for itself, we should recognize that an “Indian” mascot promotes a stereotypical image of Native Americans. To have a stereotype as a mascot does not seem at all appropriate for an educational institution."

The school will begin a community effort to develop a new mascot at the end of spring break, and the use of the Indians name will end with the conclusion of the 2021 school year.

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