I’ve been following the debate about use of the Skowhegan Indians mascot for the past several weeks, and have felt tugged to support both sides of the argument about its use.

I have lived in Skowhegan for 25 years, educated two children in its school system, and confess I felt a pang of loss at the idea of changing the identity I’d come to associate with the high school: Skowhegan Indians.

However, I really needed to understand the reason this is so offensive to Native Indians.

I mulled it over, analyzing it from different perspectives, wanting to understand the kernel of this offense. It dawned on me that once again, something was usurped from the indigenous people of North America, taken without their consent, and used for its own end.

It is very easy for the powerful to claim pride as the reason for using effects of the less powerful; it is also most disrespectful, especially when they did not give consent.

I have concluded it is time for the high school to return to Native Indians their identity and let them decide how it is used.

Cidalia Thibault


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