Commission calls on Iowa schools to end use of Native American symbols for mascots

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 6:15 AM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (WOI) - The Iowa Department of Human Rights is calling on Iowa Schools to stop using Native American symbols for mascots.

The department said the mascots are degrading and hurtful.

There are currently 66 schools in the state with mascots incorporating Native American symbols and names, according to the Iowa Commission of Native American Affairs.

Studies show the use of Native American imagery and symbols for mascots negatively affect Native Americans’ mental health.

The commission wrote a letter to the governor, saying use of these types of mascots “have no place in the just society that our schools are designed to foster.”

“I think the more we can do to encourage the public at large to recognize that natives are their neighbors and co workers and classmates,” Patrick Bigspy Commissioner of Iowa Native American Affairs said. “We’re one step closer to solving some of those larger policy issues.”

The commission said, just because the mascots have been in place for a long time, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t change.

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