I’m honestly confused by the arguement that we can’t get rid of our mascot because of “town pride” (“Sisters taking up Indian mascot issue with Skowhegan school board,” Nov. 20). I was at Girls State this summer, with girls from all over the state, and Skowhegan was known as the school with the racist mascot. When I’d tell people where I’m from, they’d say, “Oh, you’re from the school with the mascot” or “You’re the school who won’t change your mascot.”

They didn’t mention our sports, or theater or speech programs. They didn’t mention our sportsmanship. That’s not how Skowhegan is seen in the eyes of others. We are seen as the racists. Our accomplishments are clouded by racism.

I was on a committee that had to decide the bills to put on next year’s ballot and one was a ban on Native Americans being used as mascots. When it was brought up, everyone looked at me. I was not proud to be from Skowhegan in that moment. They discussed how the bill would be a boring one because everyone would agree — they looked at me again. I had to stand in front of the room and publicly state that I was against the mascot. I make sure they knew I was not “like the rest of Skowhegan.”

How is that prideful? People automatically see someone as a racist if they’re from Skowhegan. That’s terrible. You’d think that even if these people can’t grasp why it’s offensive to Natives, they should be able to see that it puts them in a bad light.

Adelle Belanger


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