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Opinion
Jodi Rave: Native people object to school mascots


"It's no wonder Native people in western Montana object to a school on the Flathead Reservation's use of Maiden and Chief for mascots.

The Ronan Indian Education Committee, Native parents and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation asked the Ronan School Board to stop using Native images and symbols on a recently built middle-school gym floor.

Francine Dupuis, a tribal citizen on the Flathead, spearheaded the efforts.

Any sense of honor intended for bestowment upon Natives gets lost in translation when non-Native fans grab hold. Imagine non-Native fans war whooping, tomahawk-chopping and screaming the word squaw at female basketball players.

But Ronan's majority white school board members determined it knew better, voting 5-1 in 2003 to keep the Chief and Maiden names.

It didn't matter that half the district's student population is Native. Their best argument: Some people like it."

Get the Story:
Mascots continue to demean Natives (The Missoulian 2/5)

Relevant Links:
Jodi Rave Lee - http://www.missoulian.com/jodirave

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