Remove the Indian Mascot at Napa High School…

…..For several decades, Native Americans have stated they do not feel honored by Indian mascots; this includes a national campaign to remove Indian mascots, images, and stereotypes in media, sports and schools. There are approximately 185 schools in California that have Native American Mascots; the most prevalent being warriors and the second being Indians.

Rather than honoring First Nations Peoples, these images perpetuate stereotypes, promote cultural appropriation and keep Native Americans as a people of the past; this negates the contemporary relevance of First Nations Peoples. The use of racially derogatory or discriminatory mascots, or nicknames in California public schools is anti-ethical to the California school mission of providing an equal education to all.  Athletic team names, mascots, and nicknames that have been used and remain in use by other teams, including school teams, are discriminatory in singling out the Native American community for the derision to which mascots or nicknames are often subjected.

The (National) Native American Mascot debate dates back to 1968. The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) launched a campaign to address stereotypes of Native Peoples in popular culture and media, as well as in sports. Furthermore, The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights states, “Many individuals and organizations interested and experienced in human relations, including the United States Commission on Civil Rights, have concluded that the use of Native American images and names in school sports is a barrier to equality and understanding, and that all residents of the United States would benefit from the discontinuance of their use.”

Over the last fifty years, hundreds of tribal nations, national and regional tribal organizations, civil rights organizations, school boards, sports teams, sports & media personalities, and individuals have called for the end to harmful “Indian” mascots.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states: 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the dignity and diversity of their cultures, traditions, histories and aspirations which shall be appropriately reflected in education and public information. 2. States shall take effective measures, in consultation and cooperation with the indigenous peoples concerned, to combat prejudice and eliminate discrimination and to promote tolerance, understanding and good relations among indigenous peoples and all other segments of society.

Also, Article 26 – Paragraph 2 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality, and to the strengthening of respect for human rights, and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance, and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.”

Mascots are derisive/meant to be ridiculed; Napa Valley Unified School Districts policy language regarding anti-bullying and discrimination supports the removal of the Napa High School Indian Mascot; Maintaining respect of different cultural values, attitudes, fairness and dignity, demonstrating respect for human rights and non-discrimination.

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5 thoughts on “Remove the Indian Mascot at Napa High School…

  1. Let me get this straight: You are telling Napa High School that they do not honor the Native American when you see this logo? Or when you ask decades of Napa High School graduates what the Indian logo means to them. But you have no problem with the gambling casinos which have proliferated under the name of the many native american groups that call out their right to turn scared land into a place that thrives on a game of chance. How dishonorable can you get with what you are doing to the history that is kept alive by such learning institution as Napa High? There is NO respect and No Honor in a casino. A simple call to Napa High to request they continue to honor the Nappa Indian heritage that will soon be forgotten and replaced by disrespectful gambling halls.

    And just another bit of info, My grandfather was a real “cowboy” he was a friend to the Indians and rode and hunted with many who gave respect to the old ways. He spoke in a few of the languages, he was welcomed in their homes. He taught me to understand the honor of these people. At my grandfather’s memorial service, he was honored by one of the local chiefs and his leaders in such a way that I know how much respect they gave him. This chief and his entourage were all dressed in their ceremonial best and spoke in their language as a last offering of my grandfathers spirit to the great spirit. When I see the Napa Indian Head Logo, I am reminded of my grandfather and his close ties to the Native American. Dont take this away from me.

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    1. Yes, this is what we are saying. Here are some appropriate ways to honor Native Peoples, and to continue your Grandfather’s legacy of respect for Indigenous Life: Support Standing Rock and #NoDAPL http://standwithstandingrock.net/ ; Donate to the Ohlone Land Trust which will help the bones of Ohlone Ancestors (now held in the basements of USBerkeley and SF State) find a final resting place https://www.facebook.com/Sogorea-Te-Land-Trust-179297255754356/; Help to generate awareness regarding development caused desecration of local sacred bay area sites http://www.crowdrise.com/save-the-west-berkeley-shellmound; Support Winona LaDuke’s fight against oil extraction and pipeline construction http://www.honorearth.org/; And read Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz’s book “All the Real Indians Died Off”: And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans”. It may shed light on the understanding that images of Native Americans do not belong to you. Just like your image does not belong to anyone else but you.

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