Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter - Native Americans: Ban logos

Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter - Native Americans: Ban logos: "Native Americans: Ban logos
Tribal leader calls for end to symbol usage
By Amy weaver
Herald Times Reporter
MISHICOT � There will always be some people who disagree with the Native American mascot used at Mishicot High School.
The head of the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council called on lawmakers Tuesday to ban Wisconsin schools from using American Indian logos, mascots and what he described as other discriminatory images.
But Mishicot School District Superintendent Steve Cromell said the symbol has always been a source of pride for students and village residents.
The mascot issue garnered much debate two years ago when a committee began studying the issue after students complained how hard it was to get behind an orange �M,� instead of a true mascot. After much discussion and deliberation, the school board agreed to retain the 60-year-old moniker, but developed a policy advocating its proper use.
Raymond DePerry, chairman of the Red Cliff Chippewa and president of the tribal council, spent much of the first State of the Tribes address on the issue. He closed by applauding school districts that voluntarily stopped using those images, which he said are a form of discrimination against the tribes and their members.
�It is unfortunate that we must ask our Legislature to enact legislation outlawing such practices in our public schools,� DePerry said. �But it is even more painful that local school boards and public schools have allowed such practices to continue.�
Cromell wasn�t the superintendent in Mishicot at the time of the school board�s decision, but has reviewed the process.
�There�s not a more frank and open discussion used,� he said. �The people in this community took a pretty hard stance to keep what they had.�
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