I can see both sides of the Indian mascot controversy. It is very hard to consider changing what has been a point of pride to the townspeople. Conversely, Native Americans feel that the use of an Indian mascot is demeaning and degrading. Each side believes that it is right.

Indian leaders say they do not object to the depiction of an Indian as presented by our beloved sculpture, which resides downtown. Nor do they oppose the beautiful Opera House painting showing an Indian in the process of spearing a fish. What the Native Americans oppose is the school mascot, which presents the Indian engaging in acts that they see as derogatory. They believe that this demeans them and their culture.

On the other hand, many Skowhegan folks think that their town has always used the Indian symbol as a way to show opposing sports teams just how strong and able they are. Many of these people don’t want to lose the sports heritage that they have embraced for decades.

I propose a compromise. Let’s change the team name to “The Arrows.” This removes a derogatory depiction of the Native Americans, and it would honor a part of their culture that shows them as strong and powerful.

Changing the name to “The Arrows” also retains some of the Indian symbolism that the folks of Skowhegan have used to intimidate sports opponents. Imagine the slogans that could be derived from that team name. It still would be connected to the Indian team heritage, but would remove the need for a mascot that Native Americans feel is objectionable.

These are just my opinions. If I have offended either side, or presented anything in an inaccurate manner, I apologize. I would just like to find common ground.

I say “Go Arrows!

Linda Mace

Cornville


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