Camanche Schools to Drop Indian Mascot at End of School Year
On Monday, the Camanche school board officially voted to remove the school's Indian mascot at the end of the year. Camanche schools has been using the Indian mascot since the school became a K-12 school district in 1961.
On Monday evening, the Camanche school board voted to remove the school districts Indian mascot at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. According to KWQC, the school board voted 5-to-1 with one person not present to vote, to remove Indian as the mascot and nickname for the school.
The removal of the Indian mascot comes after several years of recommendations from school agencies and Native American groups to address and remove the mascot.
The Camanche School District has published a timeline of the use of the Indian mascot which references times teams at every level have removed and/or addressed the use of the Indiana mascot. In that timeline, they also reference times Camanche has been recommended to remove the mascot and has been called on by Native American groups to remove Indian as the mascot.
In 2021 alone, Camanche schools have been asked by three Native American groups to remove the Indian mascot.
On January 4,the Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa (Meskwaki Nation) sent a letter to Superintendent Thomas Parker and requested the Camanche School District end its use of the Native American mascot. The Oneida Nation sent a similar letter 4 days later on January 8. The National Congress of American Indians in 2021 also sent a request to the Camanche School District end its use of the Native American Mascot.
Camanche school's Superintendent Thomas Parker wrote a letter back on February 15 saying he too agrees that it was time for Camanche to drop the Indian mascot. In that letter, Parker wrote,
"I do believe it is now time to prepare the school district to focus on our future, while yet respecting our past. With that final thought, I recommend that the Camanche School District retires the “Indian” mascot at the end of this current school year."
In a joint letter earlier this year, Camanche Elemantary School principal Aimee Dohse, Camanche Middle School principal Justin Shaffer, and Camanche High School principal Carrie Lane said that they too agree that it was time to remove the Indian mascot. In the joint letter they wrote,
"With everything we know today, February 15, 2021, our official position as school administrators is is to retire the "Indian" mascot at the end of the current school year. As school leaders, it is time for us to stand up and stand out even if this is not a popular decision in our community."
Camanche is not the only school in the state of Iowa to have an Indian mascot. KWQC reports that there are 11 schools use Indian as their nickname.
Camanche schools has not announced what their new mascot will be.
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