SALEM, Ore. - Oregon tribal members are lobbying state lawmakers to uphold a ban on Native American mascots in schools. A committee in Salem heard testimony Wednesday on a bill to overturn a ban on names like “Braves” or “Chiefs”.
Last year the Oregon Board of Education voted to phase out American Indian themed mascots in public schools. This bill would allow schools to use names associated with a specific tribe, as long as that tribe approves.
Those in favor of lifting the ban testified they’re not in favor of racist speech, and say individual tribes should have the right to permit use of their name and imagery.
But the hearing was packed with tribal members speaking in favor of maintaining the ban.
“The best research that made this decision tells you that race-based mascots are wrong," said Brenda Frank, a member of the Klamath tribe. "They’re just outright wrong.”
A related bill in the Oregon Senate would prohibit the state from imposing any rules on which mascots public schools can use.
On the Web:
2012 ban on use of Native American mascots - Oregon Board of Education