Washington, DC – National Indian
Education Association applauds the Oregon State Board of Education for its decision
yesterday to ban the use of offensive Native American mascots by schools in
the state. Thanks to this decision, there is now opportunity to create
more-welcoming cultures for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native
Hawaiian students in at least 15 of Oregon’s elementary and secondary
This ban came about thanks to the work of
Native advocates in Oregon, who strongly petitioned state board members to enact
the ban. NIEA and its more than 3,000 members and advocates supported their
efforts by issuing a letter
in March in support of the action and alerting members and followers on Twitter and Facebook.
For NIEA, this advocacy for banning the use of Native mascots
in schools is about promoting healthy school climates that respect all
cultures. The continued use of American Indian mascots, names, symbols,
images, and personalities undermines the educational experiences of
American Indian students – and all students – because it reinforces the
idea that it is acceptable to perpetuate culturally offensive behavior and
misconceptions. Every student has the right to learn in a safe environment
free from harmful stereotypes.
“This is a proud day for all Native
activists and their communities, not only in Oregon, but across the nation,”
says NIEA President Quinton Roman Nose. “Putting an end to stereotypes that
belittle our cultures, be it wrongful interpretations of our role in
American history, or in the form of team mascots, will help improve school
climates for every Native student.”
At NIEA’s 2009 annual convention in Milwaukee, NIEA members
passed a resolution to eliminate all race-based
Indian mascots. In May of 2011, the United State Senate
Committee on Indian Affairs held an oversight hearing to address the impact
of negative Indigenous stereotypes.
Reporters can learn more about NIEA’s policy positions and resolutions at NIEA.org. Reporters can also contact NIEA
Communications at email@example.com or at (202) 544-7290 for more information.
jUST THE FACTS
WHO: NIEA President Quinton Roman Nose and the
association’s 3,000 members and advocates
WHAT: Oregon’s ban on the use of offensive and hurtful Native
mascots by schools.
WHY: Cultures of respect cannot be fostered in schools
when harmful stereotypes are promoted.
MEDIA CONTACT: NIEA Communications (firstname.lastname@example.org
National Indian Education Association: The premiere organization
advocating for educational excellence, opportunity, and equity for American
Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students, the mission of the
National Indian Education Association (NIEA) is to support traditional
Native cultures and values; to enable Native learners to become
contributing members of their communities; to promote Native control of
educational institutions; and to improve educational opportunities and
resources for American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians
throughout the United States. Learn more at www.NIEA.org.