This letter was originally sent to Skowhegan-based School Administrative District 54 in March of this year. I’m forwarding it to you because I heard in the news recently that a “replacement name and mascot” are yet to be determined.

I was born in Skowhegan, but actually lived in Skowhegan (in an apartment above the former Cross Hardware store) for only about six months. My father was an electrician in a mill in Skowhegan, and when the mill closed he was forced to seek employment out of state, and we became “Mainers in exile.” I returned to Maine when I got out of the Army in early 1970, and after some moving around for about six years, I’ve been living Bangor since 1976.

While I don’t feel that the “Indians” name, logo, or any of the accoutréments, were insulting or derogatory, particularly with both “Skowhegan” and “Kennebec” being aboriginal words, I guess in this era of political correctness it’s understandable that Maine’s tribes took umbrage with the situation.

The school board probably has received many suggestions for a “replacement name” and symbol for the “Indians.” But as a Skowhegan native, I’d like to offer my suggestion: The Skowhegan Riverdrivers.

I hopefully don’t need to explain it, but if anyone has questions about it, I’d be happy to answer them.


Michael Gleason


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