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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Another Mascot hits the dirt

From the AP Wires
Southeast Missouri drops Indians nickname

BETSY TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

After more than 80 years, Southeast Missouri State University will no longer use Indians as a nickname.

Years of debate over the use of the nickname and mascot ended Wednesday when the board of regents voted unanimously to drop both for the men's teams as well as the Otahkians nickname for the women. The women's team name came from the legend of a Cherokee woman named Otahki who died near Cape Girardeau on the Trail of Tears forced march to the Oklahoma territory in the 1830s.

Supporters had argued that the nicknames showed pride in the American Indian heritage of the region. But others found them demeaning.

Glinda Ladd Seabaugh, president of the American Indian Center of the Heartland in Cape Girardeau, said she thought Southeast had not intended any harm, but that hanging onto Indian names was a type of cultural racism.

"We are human beings," she said. "We are not mascots."full article

That makes 2 this week. According to the mascot supporters, those mascots bring honor and pride back to the indigenous peoples. If this is true, then there should be dejected indians, stumbling about with heads hung low. Somehow, I doubt many(if any)indians will lose their sense of pride because a ridiculous representation, in the form of a sports team mascot, of their people is no longer subjected to ridicule by opposing sports teams.

For those "indians" that might mourn the loss of the mascot as a symbol of their "strength," all is not lost. They still have this popular image to instill a sense of pride.

Check out Ward Churchill's Let's spread the fun around


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