skip navigation
Support KUOW
Listen to News


question mark


Oregon Bans American Indian Sports Mascots In Schools

Colin Fogarty


SALEM, Ore. - 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.

Fifteen high schools in Oregon's 197 districts have mascots like Indians, Braves and Chiefs. The new rule phases them out by July of 2017. There is room for Warriors as a team name, as long as the imagery that goes with it is not about Native Americans.

Se-ah-dom Edmo is with the Oregon Indian Education Association. She says the mascots that are banned foster negative stereotypes.

"It's about objectification. And any objectification is discrimination. And discrimination is a tool of racism," Edmo says. "So no matter how small that racism might be, it's still racism, and it has no place in our public schools."

The Oregon Board of Education received hundreds of comments, slightly more in favor of the ban than against. Most who were opposed said it is a waste of time and infringes on local control.

On the Web:

Board of Education decision:

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network