Petition to Seminole High School Students
Change Seminole High School’s Mascot
For years, Seminole High School students and staff have been sporting Native American headdresses at football games and other school events. The mascot of this Sanford, Florida high school is a Seminole man. Being a former student at Seminole High School, I have experienced this firsthand. I have not once learned about the Seminole tribe during my 4 years at Seminole High School, yet almost every building is given a name like “Tomahawk” or “Tribe Hall” and a headdress made of cheap plastic feathers and face paint is commonplace. The use of the Native American people as mascots is harmful, and is seen as disrespectful by actual Natives. According to the National Congress of American Indians, which is “one of the nation’s oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native advocacy organizations,” they have “held a clear position against derogatory and harmful stereotypes of Native people—including sports mascots—in media and popular culture.” To the staff at Seminole High School, you can not disregard the disrespect and concern Native people feel over these caricatures. Using a group of people as a mascot is inherently problematic; no other race of people would be seen as an acceptable mascot, as it is incredibly disrespectful. These caricatures are not “honoring” Natives, they are “perpetuatingnegative stereotypes” and “contributing to a disregard for the personhood of Native peoples.” (NCAI) It is ironic that a school that prides itself on its diverse student population is represented by a mascot that is exemplary of cultural appropriation. While you cannot erase your past, please consider, going forward, utilizing a representative that is progressive, inclusive, and respectful of all.
Petition to Fresno Unified School District, Fresno Unified School District Board of Trustees
Change Fresno High School's Mascot Image!
This is Yokuts Land and we are Valley Natives for CHANGE! (FB) 65% of Native Youth (link)57% of Natives who strongly identify with being Native (link)67% of Natives who frequently engage in cultural practices (link)STAND AGAINST AND ARE DEEPLY INSULTED BY NATIVE MASCOTS. 896 high schools have removed Native mascots since 2014 (and counting).That's an average of approximately 150 per year! Fresno High School sits on #YokutsLand. This land was taken through acts of genocide, systemic racism and oppression. The use of generic Native imagery as a mascot has not only caused pain to many Natives in the community, it reinforces archaic and racist ideas about Native Americans as violent savages from a bygone era. This concept of the "Noble Savage" is one of the oldest racist tropes used against our people, yet, is surprisingly one of the most used within the framework of the Native mascot issue. Unbelievably, Fresno Unified School District allowed for this patently racist idea to have a platform in what was billed as a "Town Hall discussion" under the guise of "Community Voice & Diversity of Thought" Racist concepts like this, reinforced by shame, ridicule, disdain, threats of violence, etc., have forced many Natives to live in silent shame, to hide from or abandon their culture. This divisive dehumanization has to end, for the sake of our children. Q: Is this just a local issue, or is it bigger than the Fresno area?A: TENS OF THOUSANDS of Native voices have fought the use of Native mascots since the NCAI - Native Congress of American Indians first launched a campaign against these dehumanizing mascots in 1968. The NCAI is the oldest and largest organization representing "over 566 federally recognized tribes, all of which are sovereign nations – with lands located within the borders of 34 states. Over 5.2 million American Indian or Alaska Native people were counted in the 2010 Census representing close to 2 percent of the US population." (link - page 5)1,500+ Native organizations and advocates have signed a letter asking for the removal of ALL Native and imagery. That is not a small minority group, that is a NATIONAL MOVEMENT! Listen, Native People have decidedly spoken out against this gross misuse of our culture, and the time is now to move on this issue in Fresno, Ca. The right side of history beckons us, our children beckon us, and Native people are offering their hand in friendship. Make the move towards reconciliation and healing by removing this dehumanizing relic of a shameful period in American history. Fresno Unified School district recently passed an "Anti-Racist Institution Resolution" where it vowed to take a stand against racism, and any divisive idea that separates children from the learning experience. It's time to MOVE on this issue.The Golden State Warriors did it! They moved from a dribbling Indian racist caricature, to an Indian headdress, to an image of "The City", and still remained WARRIORS. It can be done! The time is NOW! CHANGE THE MASCOT.Change the #FresnoHighMascotChange every #NativeMascotWe are #NotYourMascot#FUSD
Petition to Keller Independent School District, Dr. Rick Westfall, Lisa Simmons, Mark Youngs, Tracy Johnson, Hudson Huff, Amanda Bigbee, Cecil McDaniel, Joe Griffin, Shellie Johnson, Ruthie Keyes, Chris Roof, Beverly Dixon, Craig Allen, Karina Davis, Cindy Lotton, Brad Schofield
Change Keller High School’s Offensive Mascot
I’m reviving the petition to change the racist and offensive “Indian” mascot of Keller High School. I have seen the positive steps of action that schools like Richland High (formerly Richland Rebels) and Arlington Martin (removing insensitive Native American mascot and headdress logos) have taken and I want to keep that momentum going for justice in my hometown. The original petition from 2017 started by the Society of Native Nations only had around 2,000 supporters. And the petition to keep the mascot had 10,000. An ethnicity is not a mascot. A native headdress is not for non-natives to use as their logos. A school cannot stand against racism and teach their students how to shut racism down in their surroundings while actively promoting an insensitive caricature of an entire culture. Racism is in every little thing. If we let one racist action or symbol slide, we become complacent. If a culture says it’s racist, your job is not to say “well you should feel honored.” You cannot be the last school toting a racist mascot when so many teams and schools are already moving forward. Social and racial justice is long overdue and it starts in your school. Stop romanticizing racist traditions. An offensive mascot is not “A Tradition of Excellence”, Keller ISD. The following is from the original petition by the Society of Native Nations: This petition has been created to advocate for the Superintendent of Keller ISD to change the mascot at Keller High School, located in Keller, TX. We are asking that Keller High School stop the cultural racism and discriminatory educational practices towards Native American Indians There are several reasons why the Indigenous people of this land should not be made into caricatures or mascots but most importantly, “I am not your mascot”. “We are not your mascot” "No people, race, culture, religion or spirituality should not be a mascot". Native Americans are Human Beings that are alive today, whose Ancestors survived genocide and died to protect our traditional way of life. It is said that this mascot and others are to “Honor Us”. There are other ways to honor the Indigenous people of this continent, such as “Honoring our Treaties” or not bulldozing through our sacred sites. Perhaps starting scholarships to help our youth attend college as we have the highest rates of poverty in the nation. But making Native Americans "people" into mascots or caricatures are not honoring us. It is demeaning and does not properly represent who we are. It has been proven by the American Psychological Association that such mascots, actually harm our youth and teach non-native youth that cultural appropriation is socially acceptable. Furthermore, the use of headdresses within this high school is unacceptable and should not be mimicked as it disrespects what we know to be sacred. No one's culture should be for sale, nor should it be available for just anyone to take and decide what is “honorable” or “noble” because someone assumes it is acceptable to appropriate a race of people culture and beliefs. The Indigenous people of this land have suffered, been knocked down to their knees, but we are still here and we DO EXIST. Our way of life, our ceremonies, our traditions, our language, our teachings all are very sacred to us and having such a mascot, like the “Keller Indians”, having “Indianettes” or their cheerleaders attempting to dress like we do, having students and supporters painting their faces to look like like Indians perpetuates stereotyping and undermines the true education a student may possibly receive but has been clouded by the school’s ill perception of what an Indigenous person is. We as Native people as well as Non-Native people have come together to address this issue because we are concerned and appalled that even in today’s time, some of our schools are still teaching our children racism and desensitizing them from racial stereotypes of Native American’s which leads to racist bullying, discrimination, depression, cultural issues, and low self-esteem issues among our children. Many Native American Indian children exposed to this type of cultural racism will grow to be ashamed of who they are and their cultural identity because of this abuse. Educational institutions and teachers have a professional responsibility to eliminate racism in all aspects of school life; schools and teachers should not ignore multicultural issues in school but rather address them to provide a more positive learning environment for all students. Having the children play dress up in stereotypical cartoon character-like costumes beating a hand drum, carrying a play tomahawk, feather fans or headdresses, painting faces, doing the tomahawk chops, hand over the mouth yelling or putting their hand up in the air and saying “how” are examples of inauthentic representations of American Indian cultures. Many school officials claim they are honoring American Indians and insist that their school's sponsored activities are not offensive. We argue otherwise, and contend that these racist activities are forms of cultural violence in schools. Of course, many school administrators are all too familiar with the current legal and educational battles toward eliminating Indian mascots, logos, nicknames, and antics from school-related events. The US Commission on Civil Rights (CAR), the highest official governmental body of its kind, issued a strong statement in 2001 recommending that schools eliminate Indian images and nicknames as sports symbols.10 Grassroots efforts of thousands of American Indian parents nationwide prompted this decision among CAR members. Moreover, the critical mass of American Indian educational organizations and professionals supported the CAR too. Indian educators showed school officials that negative images, symbols, and behaviors play a crucial role in distorting and warping American Indian children’s' cultural perceptions of themselves as well as non-Indian children’s' negative attitudes toward and simplistic understanding about American Indian Peoples. Most of these proverbial stereotypes are manufactured racist images that prevent millions of school-age students from understanding the past and current authentic human experience of American Indians As for those that have spoken up to say that they are Native American Indian and do not find this to be offensive.We say to you, IF you do not follow the spirituality of your ancestors, IF you do not follow the teachings of your people, IF you do not do the ceremonies of your people, IF you do not have a people and community you are accountable to that do follow and are connected to their spirituality and ancestors and or, if you follow a foreign religion or mindset, then you are NOT sincere to the ancestors, spirituality, and teachings of Native American Indian people. So you can NOT and should NOT speak for the Native American Indian community on whats best for them or what is offensive to them or not, because you will not understand if you do not know the history and or if you are not connected to the way of life and spirituality of Native American Indian communities that ARE telling you that this type cultural racism and discriminatory educational practices are bad for all people, especially children and must be stopped if we are to have a better future for all people to better understand and respect one another. Superintendent of Keller ISD, we respectfully request that you remove Keller High School’s mascot. You would not approve of any other race or culture of people being used as a mascot, so please do not do it with our people.
Petition to West Torrance High School
Change West Torrance High School's Racist Mascot
West High Warrior's mascot needs to change. The mascot of West Torrance High School in California is a Native American man with feathers in his hair. The misrepresentation of the Indigenous people of North America through derogatory and harmful mascots is degrading, perpetuates racist stereotypes, and does not acknowledge the oppression and genocide of Indigenous people by the United States government. West High School is located on stolen land that once belonged to the Indigenous Gabrielino Tongva people. West High's mascot exploits Indigenous cultures and promotes white supremacy and continual violence against Native Americans. 1. We demand that before the start of the Fall 2020 school year, West High's racist mascot be immediately removed and replaced with one that does not appropriate any culture. 2. We ask that the high school acknowledge the fault of the Native American mascot and explain the reason for the change. In the international movement for the rights of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) people, racist monuments are being removed and harmful mascots are being replaced. We can not be complacent with racism on any level of our society. Now is the time to speak out about the injustices in our communities. West High's website
Petition to John Robison (Davis School District Board of Education President), Reid P. Newey (Davis School District Superintendent), Liz Mumford (Davis School District Board of Education Vice President), Julie Tanner (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Brigit Gerrard (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Gordon Eckersley (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Marie Stevenson (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Cheryl Phipps (Davis School District Board of Education Member), Randy Lewis (Bountiful City Mayor), Lorene Miner Kamalu (Davis County Commission Chair), Bob J Stevenson (Davis County Commission Vice Chair), Randy B Elliott (Davis County Commissioner), Aaron Hogge (Bountiful High School Principal), Douglas Hammerschmidt (Bountiful High School Assistant Sr High Principal), Travis Warnick (Bountiful High School Assistant Sr High Principal)
Change Bountiful High School's Offensive and Racist Mascot
I graduated from Bountiful High in 2013. In the wake of recent events, I wanted to draw attention to the offensive, outdated, and racist mascot of Bountiful High School, the Brave and advocate for a change. As we see a shift on the national level with professional teams reevaluating their racist mascots, we are hoping to make one here, closer to home. It's shameful and embarrassing to me that Bountiful High is one out of the three high schools in Utah that still uses an indigenous person as their mascot. It is not right that a rich culture and history is being reduced to a mascot. The idea of changing the mascot has been explored in the past, but there have been minimal changes to the representation of Indigenous peoples in the school. Now is the time to change the mascot and rectify the years of inherent and obvious racism at the heart of Bountiful High School. Let's work together to change that. The predominant argument against changing our mascot, the Brave, is that it's part of our history and tradition. That type of tradition has no place in the future of the school, and is not something that the community should be proud of. It is inappropriate to use the images and culture of indigenous people in this manner. Native Americans and indigenous people have rich history and culture and should not be reduced to a stereotype or caricature. Some of the common practices of the student body are wearing face paint and headdresses while screaming “war cries” at sporting events and assemblies and it is unacceptable. Homecoming parties are called Pow-wows, insensitive chants are used at school events, and tomahawk chops were common practice. These are only a few of the things embedded into the Bountiful High School culture that are inherently racist and unethical. As an institution of education that teaches students about the negative results of racism and social injustice, Bountiful High cannot continue using this mascot and logo while teaching against it. Students can be proud of their school without having to wear shirts and accessories that appropriate another culture. During my time at Bountiful High, I participated in these practices and was uninformed about their harm. It is the job of the adult educators, faculty, administration, school board, and superintendent to ensure that the students they are responsible for understand the impact of their own actions. In my case, no adult ever pointed out the ramifications, inherent racism, and harm of the cultural appropriation that was rampant at Bountiful High School. I am teaching myself as an adult and want to make a change so future students don't have to live with the shame and regret over participating in racist traditions many of us Bountiful Alumni are grappling with today. Please remove this harmful mascot, and build a new future and traditions for Bountiful High School. I believe the students and community can come together and create new ideas for a mascot more fitting of our Bountiful values! (The photo used in this petition was taken from Bountiful High's Facebook Page, is currently their profile picture, and uploaded as of 10/27/2018)
Petition to School board and administrators
CHANGE RIDLEY’S MASCOT!
For years, Ridley School District’s mascot has been The Raider, a title accompanied by an image of a Native American. This image is a caricature of indigenous people, and pairing it with the term Raider, which means thief, perpetuates negative stigma. It is time that Ridley School District changes their mascot image and title to something that is not racist. With the help of your signature, we can show the school board and administrators of the district that we as students will not be silent to this racism any longer.
Petition to Rust Foundation
Make Ferris an Official Mascot of the Rust Foundation
The Rust programming language is a phenomenal example that issues in our world can be fixed by open source, hard work, and community involvement. The Rust language is well-known by those "in the click", and is starting to become more and more prevalent, due to its great speed, and low-level systems abilities. However, there is another side to creating a popular product, the marketing! And although Rust's logo is quite cool, for some time "Ferris the crab" has been an unofficial mascot. Many Rust users call themselves "Rustaceans", and use the crab as a symbol of Rust. Now that the Rust Foundation is officially forming, while it's early in its stages, this is the time to place Ferris as an official mascot. The foundation could use Ferris to sell merchandise, and allow for not just pure money donations (since it's often fun to get something in return). As seen by the Free Software Foundation, using your brand and imagery (such as the GNU) for merchandise can help make some money, and spread your imagery to different formats. The ability to use Ferris can help create a cute, and lovable mascot to the already phenomenal Rust language. Ultimately, using Ferris as a logo can help bring in money, create a cute face to be associated with Rust, and help "bond" the community. Help make this a reality today!
Petition to Michael Mongon, Anthony DiCarlo, Adam Savino, Ben Dilullo, David Furaro, Lawrence Keane, Lucy Massafra, Tanner McCracken, Ray McDonough, Michael Simone
Retiring Mahopac's 'Indian' Mascot
Since its founding over 80 years ago, Mahopac Central School District has perpetuated inequity and capitalized on colonialism. Despite our district claiming “it’s…important to us that students’ social, emotional, and overall wellbeing is supported,” our community continues to ignore bigotry as an issue. Have we forgotten the headlines denoting four instances of racism related to Mahopac student conduct—once in 2012, twice in 2014, and again in April of this year? Turning a blind eye to toxic ideology will only exacerbate the problem for current and future generations living in our community. In a comprehensive research report by Brown University’s Dr. Michael A. Friedman, “Indian” sports mascots were shown to harmfully “perpetuate negative stereotypes of America’s first peoples and contribute to a disregard for the personhood of Native peoples.” Furthermore, “hundreds of tribal nations, national and regional tribal organizations, civil rights organizations, school boards, sports teams, sports and media personalities, and individuals have called for the end to harmful Indian mascots.” Currently, Native Americans are still being oppressed and marginalized in society. They face the continual loss of territory due to oil industry buyouts, voter repression via unjust legislation, and high levels of violence, especially toward Native women (which is often disregarded by local authorities) among many other injustices. Mahopac’s “Indian” mascot is a reminder of these acts of divisiveness and marginalization, which further emphasizes our community’s inability to eliminate racism. We need to unite together to end the racial discrimination scarring our community by removing a symbol that has held us back from healing for far too long. Therefore, I propose that instead of complacency, we implement a united systemic transformation of belief. My action plan involves three steps: Community engagement, educational forum development, and rebranding. Step 1 involves you. I am calling upon individuals to sign this petition to inform the School Board of the Mahopac Central School District and Anthony DiCarlo, the superintendent of the Mahopac Central School District, of our concerns and propose the solutions addressed in Steps 2 and 3. Step 2 involves the community. Together we can develop an open forum for our municipality to safely and appropriately discuss taboo topics (i.e., race, gender, ethnicity). Let us better ourselves through conversation and education. Lastly, Step 3 involves Adidas. In 2015, Adidas launched the “Mascot Change” initiative, which is a voluntary program for high schools that “would give schools access to the company’s design team for logo redesign and uniform design across all sports.” This is a grant-funded initiative that requires a simple proposal from a school district to instigate change at little monetary and temporal cost. It is not my intention to eliminate Native American culture from Mahopac entirely. The biggest issue in our mascot, besides its racist connotation, is that there is no public education regarding the ancestors of our land. Together, we can celebrate and learn about the Wappinger tribe that lived on this territory, and how Mahopac as we know it came to be. There is irony surrounding our pride for the “Mahopac Indians” without knowing anything about the tribe’s history. All three steps can engage the community toward fostering a more inclusive neighborhood. In our current cultural climate, many people will feel that this initiative is too “politically correct” and that they are not responsible for what happened to Native Americans. No, we may not be independently responsible for the genocide and injustices that Native American communities have faced throughout history; however, we are responsible for the cultural appropriation that Mahopac has undertaken in using the “Indian” as our mascot. There is precedent from nearby districts taking action to address similar appropriation. In 2002, Ossining High School changed its “Indian” mascot after the state education commissioner “requested that districts stop using American Indian symbols as mascots”. Most recently, in November 2019, Superintendent Andrew Selesnick voted with the Katonah-Lewisboro School Board to retire their 'Indian' mascot stating: "In 2019, maintaining the mascot is at odds with our educational mission...If we are to teach our students the importance of truly listening when someone or some group tells us that our behavior or our words are harmful or unwelcome, then we as a district should serve as a model.” By separating ourselves from a symbol of imperialist oppression, we can begin the process of redeveloping our values as a community. I am proud and privileged to have grown up in Mahopac, but without a plan to curb the harmful rhetoric that has been tolerated for far too long, our district will be known for our tolerance for racism, rather than the wealth of knowledge and abundant resources in our area. ~Sincerely, Daniel Ehrenpreis, 2012 graduate of Mahopac High School firstname.lastname@example.org