May 24, 2012

Siletz Tribe opposes mascot ban

Tribe Disapproves of Oregon Banning Native MascotsOne of the 15 schools affected by the Oregon Board of Education’s decision to ban Native American mascots is Siletz Valley School, an Indian charter school whose mascot is the Siletz Warrior, an Indian in a headdress, which will now have to change.

And the Confederated Tribe of Siletz Indians—one of 10 federally recognized tribes in Oregon—issued a statement Tuesday, May 22 expressing its disappointment with the board’s decision to ban the mascots.

“It is the opinion of the Siletz Tribe that this ban does nothing to address the real issues of racism nor does it address the issue of the low self-esteem of Native students attending public schools,” the statement from the tribe said. “For the Siletz Tribal community, this action has a negative impact on our students and our community. We will be forced once again to succumb to the misguided intentions of people who have no knowledge of Indian communities.”
And:The Register-Guard reported on May 23 that it’s unclear whether the Oregon Board of Education will be able to enforce the ban on tribal land though. The Guard also reported that other tribes in the state including the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians support the ban.

Their tribal chairman, Bob Garcia, told The Guard, “If it’s the Siletz Warriors, run by the Siletz Tribe, I don’t have a problem with that.”
Comment:  Hundreds of tribes and tribal organizations have come out against Indian mascots. Including some in Oregon. In other words, many mascot foes are Indians. The idea that they don't know "Indian communities" is a crock.

If the Siletz Valley School is under public administration, I don't care if it's on tribal land. The stereotypical mascot should go. A Plains chief in Oregon is stupid and ignorant whether the purveyor is Native or not.

But if the school is under tribal administration, let the ignorant Indians keep their stereotypical chief. If they want to portray themselves as primitive people of the past, not modern-day participants in American society, that's their right. No matter how foolish a choice it may be.

For more on the subject, see Oregon Bans Indian Mascots and Team Names and Mascots.

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