(Oneida Reservation) -We commend the respectful actions of the Menomonee Falls School Board for making the decision to retire their mascot. This contributes to the growing number of educational institutions who are understanding of the harmful effects of race-based mascots. We also appreciate Wisconsin Indian Education Association’s Indian Mascot and Logo Taskforce for their tireless effort to eliminate the use of race-based mascots in our Wisconsin school system.
Resolutions in opposition to the use of racial mascots have been passed by all Native American Nations in Wisconsin, by the Great Lakes Intertribal Council as a body, by the National Congress of American Indians and numerous others expressing their opposition to the use of Native American images and names for sports teams.
Oneida Vice Chairman, Brandon Yellowbird-Stevens applauds the school saying, “You cannot deny or disprove that racially-based mascots are offensive, hurtful and damaging to the many people we all represent, our neighbors, families and children.”
We encourage everyone to join in the effort calling for lawmakers to ban Native American mascots and logos in Wisconsin’s public-school districts. To have these symbols and depictions of this cultural history used in inappropriate ways and without an understanding of the cultural significance and history behind them is a practice that must stop.
The Oneida Nation recently released a 30 second commercial which depicts the diversity and core values of the Oneida people. Vice Chairman Stevens said, “We have defined who we are and we are proud of our language and Oneida traditions”, he concluded by saying, “We are a diverse population of people who have a good mind about who we are and a good heart to build our community and a strong fire that keeps us going.”