Native American Guardian Association addresses mascot task force

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Claire Evelyne Edwards, Editor-in-Chief

The second mascot task force meeting was held for MCHS virtually via zoom on March 2 and included two guest speakers: Tony Henson from central Illinois and Eunice Davison, a member of the Spirit Lake Tribe located in North Dakota. 

Both Henson and Davison are members of the Native American Guardian Association (NAGA), which advocates for education on Native American heritage.

NAGA wants to encourage communities to maintain accurate logos and imagery. They have no motive to erase the Native imagery in schools, but to instead maintain it in a respectful manner that they believe isn’t offensive. 

The NAGA website states that it is a “501c3 non-profit organization advocating for increased education about Native Americans, especially in public educational institutions, and greater recognition of Native American Heritage through the high profile venues of sports and other public platforms.”

Henson and Davison have reviewed various high schools and organizations across the country where they decide whether their imagery is deemed disrespectful. 

A question regarding The Peace Pipe Chatter, the name of the student newspaper this article is published under, being offensive was brought to the attention of Henson and Davidson during the task force meeting. Davidson briefly spoke about how sacred the peace pipe is and did not appear fond of the title. 

In concerns of other items such as the Minooka’s arrow and Indian head logos, Henson and Davidson said that they would need to closely examine them to see if they were problematic, but they are something that could potentially still be used in some way. 

In opinion of Dr. Kenneth Lee, superintendent, the goal of the meeting was to get one perspective, allow questions to be asked, and then let everyone ponder on them for a couple weeks to come back to and discuss during the next meeting. 

The next meeting will occur on March 15 virtually via Zoom.

 

Related stories:

Mascot task force committee formed, Feb. 24, 2021

When schools look to change mascots, Dec. 10, 2020