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Indian Education Association Reaches Out To Schools With Native American Mascots
Group Seeks To Improve Native American Studies Curriculum In Schools, Give Mascots Context
By Gilman Halsted
Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 5:51pm
A group of Native American educators has sent letters to 31 Wisconsin school districts offering to help their communities replace their Native American sports mascots and logos.
A bill signed in to law in December makes it easier for school districts to retain their Native American mascots by requiring those who oppose them to prove they result in discrimination against native peoples. Barb Munson of the Wisconsin Indian Education Association said the bill has prompted her group to reach out more aggressively to schools that still have what she calls race-based mascots.
She said the letter is an invitation for these schools to form partnerships with tribal schools and organizations to enrich their Native American studies curriculum.
“If school districts understand American Indian perspectives and have a better grasp of American Indian history, they will also understand why American Indian people are asking for this kind of stereotyping to be removed from educational institutions,” said Munson.
The 11 Wisconsin tribes who are members of the Great lakes Indian Tribal Council are expected to vote tomorrow to endorse this new anti-mascot initiative.