I was a Skowhegan Indian. I am a Skowhegan Indian. I will forever be a Skowhegan Indian.

The Indian name pays homage to the people who first inhabited this land. The name was chosen as a symbol of strength and perseverance in a natural and occasionally hostile environment. Strength and perseverance are characteristics to which athletes aspire. The name is a source of pride and courage and was never meant to denigrate a people.

On the other hand we have the publicity hungry “do-gooders” who tell us we are wrong to use the name (“Gov.-elect Mills weighs in on Skowhegan schools’ Indians nickname,” Dec. 7). The “do-gooders” are ever eager to adopt a cause for the drama of it all. The “do-gooders” ask for sacrifice to right the wrongs, real or imagined. Of course, as with all “do-gooder” causes, these sacrifices are always asked of others, and never of themselves.

The “do-gooders” want to feel good about themselves by imposing their values and their sense of reparation for the actions of their forebears 350 years ago. Let the “do-gooders” instead enter voluntary servitude to the Native American nations to correct the sins of the past.

I was a Skowhegan Indian. I am a Skowhegan Indian. I will ever be a Skowhegan Indian. No apologies.

Stan Watson

Skowhegan, class of 1972

Georgetown, Massachusetts

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