The dark side of Native American sports mascots
Boosters point out the mascots are much loved and used respectfully. Recently, however, Chu Kim-Prieto, Elizabeth A. Goldstein, Sumie Okazaki and Blake Kirschner tested how the use of a University of Illinois mascot, Chief Illiniwek, affected the tendency of volunteers to stereotype an unrelated group—Asians. They randomized volunteers into groups—one read about or was shown materials depicting the athletics program and Chief Illiniwek and the other was given materials about a university arts center. All the depictions about Chief Illiniwek were exactly as boosters of American Indian sports mascots described—respectful and admiring. The researchers found that volunteers shown the American Indian mascot were quicker to come up with stereotypes about Asians that suggested Asians were socially inept, overly competitive, and not fun-loving.
People who think Indians are savages obviously hold the opposite belief: that whites are civilized. That has to affect their view of other nonwhite minorities.
For more on the subject, see The Harm of Native Stereotyping: Facts and Evidence.