LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — The Thompson School District Board voted unanimously Wednesday evening to remove the Indian mascot from Loveland High School and the Warriors mascot from Bill Reed Middle School.
At Wednesday’s virtual meeting, parents and alumni weighed in on the issue.
“The Loveland High School Indians have proudly served the test of time, and there’s a sense of pride that goes back three or four generations. Shame on you,” one person said.
“I’ve heard some people in our community people say that these mascots honor Native Americans. But if Native American people don’t feel honored, but disrespected by these mascots, then a change is needed now,” another person said.
The topic of Native American mascots has been a focus nationwide, with the Washington NFL team dropping the Redskins mascot earlier this year.
Carla Fredericks, a law professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, played a major role in that removal through work with First Peoples Worldwide.
“There’s been a tremendous amount of research, particularly on Native youth, that these mascots create harm. Because if a Native child sees their only representation in mainstream society being an aggressive, outdated, caricature, then they begin to internalize that conception for themselves,” she said.
School board members also cited concerns with opposing teams mocking the Loveland mascots over the years, but didn’t cite specific examples.
“Even though the Loveland team may be very proud of their name and moniker, if an opposing team is rooting against that team, they may engage in some really negative racial behavior that’s on display for everyone,” says Fredericks.
All of the Indian and Warrior logos and language will be phased out by Aug. 21, 2021.
It’s currently unknown which mascots will replace the old ones.