It is encouraging to read the positive suggestions from community members about selecting a new mascot to replace “Indians” for Skowhegan High School. People really have considered the inappropriateness of the current mascot, despite their own sentimental or long-standing attachment to it.

There are many other ways to show spirited support for our school sports teams.

Skowhegan does indeed have a rich Wabanaki heritage; but, since the Wabanaki were wiped out or forcibly relocated by white Europeans (predominantly English and some French), it is understandable that using them as a mascot at a mostly white school is thoughtless, at best.

It isn’t just that “Indians” are people that make the mascot unacceptable. Certainly, the Montreal Canadiens is indeed a Canadian team.

However, despite protestations that some people in the community have a small trace of Indian (unspecified for tribe) lineage, the Wabanaki Federation is unified in its request to cease the use of that mascot. We show honor to ourselves and to others when we can be accommodating to their heart-felt plea for respect in this. If we persist in using the mascot, what does that say about us as a community that purports to believe in mutual respect?

Mary Stuart


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