That seems to be the goal of a Washington state legislator, for all that she claims otherwise—and despite the fact that she’s a Native American. Representative Debra Lekanoff (D), Tlingit and Aleut, has introduced a bill that would ban the State’s public schools from using Native American names, symbols, or images for mascots, logos, or team names.
Lekanoff claims that using these items in this way
fails to respect the cultural heritage of Native Americans and promote productive relationships between sovereign governments.
Few things could be farther from the truth.
Last things first: the use of Native American imagery has nothing at all to do with “relationships between sovereign governments.” On the contrary, their use is solely to promote school spirit and school unity.
The other thing is that school spirit and unity. The use of Native American symbology is all about “these guys are the guys we want to be like. These guys are worthy role models that we want to emulate.”
Few things can be more respectful than that. Sadly, barring the use of such symbology, barring this kind of reference from our sports endeavors is just a step from barring Native Americans from our national consciousness. It’s a small step at this point, but it’s a serious one down a destructive path.