27 September 2004

Leave the Tipis at Home...

Hokahey! It's a good day to defend our dignity...


Indian Mascot Team Asked Not to Bring Offensive Material

Louis Gray 9/24/2004

The Ponca City Pioneers due to play the Union Redskin football team has asked the Tulsa team to not bring Indian material which Native American patrons find offensive Friday night (9/24/04).
An anonymous tip to the Native American Times said the Ponca City High School asked Union to not bring their tipi, or any students dressed like Native Americans in mock costumes.

Ponca Indians have long been opposed to the use of Indian material as used by the Union football team. They have in past years protested the use of the Redskin mascot, a term many Native Americans find offensive.

Indian people were once hunted for bounty and it was common practice to skin the captured and was referred to as "Redskins." Union High School voted last year to retain their mascot which they say is a symbol of pride and tradition. Native American and civil rights groups like TICAR, NAACP, TMM, and NCCJ have voiced their opposition to the mascot.

Native American groups like the Native American Church use the tipi as a church. Union High School routinely blows smoke through the tipi, play sirens and run out through the tipi led by Indian clowns. The tipi crew is usually non-Indians with no shirt on and with paint on their skin like war paint.

Union has brought in the past non-Indian students dressed in Indian buckskin attire to cheer on their team. The team uses a tomahawk chop and chants a cheer which mocks Indian language and songs.
TICAR has been to every school board meeting in the past 19 months to voice their opposition to the use of the Redskin mascot. A bill is due to be introduced in the Oklahoma legislature which outlaw the use of Redskin and Savages as mascot names.

In Oklahoma their are 165 public schools which use Native Americans as a mascot. Nation-wide 30 years ago there were over 3,000 schools which objectified Indians as mascots. Today there is a little over 900 left. Oklahoma has not changed one school.


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