Native Americans

Oregon Bans American Indian Sports Mascots In Schools

May 17, 2012
Photo Credit: Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

Native American-themed sports mascots will no longer be allowed in Oregon public schools. That's the decision Thursday by the state Board of Education. The vote was 5 to 1.

Photo by Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Since the 1970s, U.S. policy toward American Indian tribes has been to encourage economic independence. Tribal casinos are probably the most visible symbol of that policy. These days, tribes are diversifying into other businesses. In 2005, the Chehalis Indian tribe in southwest Washington partnered with a Wisconsin-based water park chain to build a destination resort. The state of Washington, in turn, granted the project tax exempt status. But now, correspondent Austin Jenkins has obtained internal state documents that question whether Great Wolf Lodge really is a tribal entity and eligible for favorable tax treatment.

Photo by Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Fifteen Oregon schools may have to change their sports imagery soon. A state panel could vote later this month [May 17] on whether to ban Native American-themed mascots. The proposal faces resistance, as Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman found on a visit to the Willamette Valley town of Molalla.

This fall, Denise Everhart's son will become the fifth generation in his family to attend Molalla High School. He plans to play football.

Everhart: "He will be on the field as an Indian."

Photo credit: U.S. Dept. of Justice. / U.S. Dept. of Justice.

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -- A landmark settlement announced this week between the federal government and American Indian tribes is expected to have long-term effects beyond the $1 billion in the agreement. Nine Northwest tribes are part of the deal: Coeur d’Alene, Nez Perce, Shoshone-Bannock, Colville, Spokane, Tulalip, Makah, Nooksack, Swinomish.

Photo courtesy of Lebanon High School

An Oregon School District is digging in its heels against a proposed state ban on Native American mascots. The School Board in the Willamette Valley farm town of Lebanon will consider a resolution Thursday to reject the ban.

Photo by Amelia Templeton / Northwest News Network

CHILOQUIN, Ore. -- You won’t find Lost River suckerfish on any menus in the Northwest. But for years, this fish was a staple for the tribes living in Southern Oregon. Now the fishery is in trouble, and the Klamath tribes are trying to figure out how to bring it back. Amelia Templeton reports.

Photo courtesy of the William P. Gottlieb Collection

PLUMMER, Idaho - Jazz aficionados know Mildred Bailey as the legendary singer who cleared the way for female jazz greats like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. Less well known is the fact that Bailey was Native American. Now, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe in Idaho has launched a campaign to bring the singer -- and her heritage -- into the spotlight. Jessica Robinson tells the story.

SPOKANE -- The Spokane Tribe of Indians just received a list of federal guidelines for their proposed casino project in Airway Heights. Along with the document came a new round of opposition. Paige Browning has more.

Photo by: Dan Cook / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

DALLESPORT, Wash. – Columbia River Indian tribes are keeping their ancient traditions alive in the coming weeks with ceremonies to open their spring fisheries. As Courtney Flatt explains, predictions of strong salmon runs are giving the tribes extra reason to celebrate.

Photo Credit: K. David Harrison / Northwest News Network

VANCOUVER, Canada - Usually it is good news when the Northwest appears on a top five list. But this one is not. Our region ranks near the top of a list of global hotspots for disappearing languages. The reason is that speakers of Native American languages are dwindling. Correspondent Tom Banse reports on how digital technology is coming to the rescue of some ancient tongues.