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Alison Black: Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes wrong on racist mascot

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More on: alison black, cheyenne arapaho, eddie hamilton, mascots, oklahoma, racism, youth
El Reno Indians Spirit Charter

ERPS Spirit Charter video made in cooperation with the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes. Proud to be the El Reno Indians!

Posted by El Reno Public Schools on Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Governor Eddie Hamilton Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes participated in the production of a video promoting the "Indians" mascot of the El Reno School District in Oklahoma.

Alison Black, a citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, pens a letter to Governor Eddie Hamilton, questioning his participation in a video promoting the "Indians" mascot of the El Reno School District in Oklahoma:
The battle today is not of the mascot itself but rather your endorsement. I worry for your tribal youth who attend these schools and the development of their identities. I worry for my Native students here in Northern Oklahoma because society at large tends to take one “Indian’s” word for it. Will they be subjected to taunts by other students because their peers (and administration) can only connect their identities to a caricature? Will they be subjected to being discriminated against because their administrations can only connect their identities to a political ideology? Will their history be stifled because this is the best example of an “Indian” partnership? Will their curriculum continue to be filled with rhetoric instead of meaningful conversation about their identity?

Why endorse this mascot, but instead make an institutional change? I ask that you answer these questions to those of us whom you have left out of the conversation. I ask you to also answer those questions to your tribal youth when they travel to play sports and are subjected to ugly taunts from the crowd. Perhaps they will endure the same racial assault as our 6th grade girls team this fall when a parent from a school with an Indian mascot called them dirty little Indians after we beat them.

There is too much empirical data that shows the harm on our Native youth to sit idly by in the name of skewed diplomacy.

Read More on the Story:
Alison Black: Dear Gov. Hamilton, How Can You Publicly Endorse Indian Mascot? (Indian Country Today 3/4)

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