As Deadline Nears, Four Oregon School Districts Await Approval For Native-Themed Mascots

Jun 20, 2017

The fate of Native American mascots at four Oregon school districts will be decided this Thursday.  The State Board of Education will review the proposals at their meeting.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

Current mascot image for Philomath Warriors.
Credit Classmates.com

The districts are Rogue River, Philomath, Siletz, and Amity.  All have agreements with the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians on making their mascots culturally-appropriate and relevant for their region.

Cindy Hunt, Government and Legal Affairs Manager for the Oregon Department of Education, says if all four agreements are ratified, there will be eight districts total with tribally-approved mascots.

“They have enthusiastically invited the tribe in to do professional development of their staff, do speeches to assemblies," Hunt tells KLCC.  "And really talk about the history of the native peoples who lived in their school districts.  To characterize the agreements as just mascot agreements, is really not describing the breadth of these agreements.” 

There were fifteen districts with Indian mascots in 2012, when the legislature approved a resolution requiring a local tribe’s involvement.  Hunt says only three (Oakridge, Lebanon, North Douglas)  have not officially told education officials what they’re planning. 

Schools not in compliance risk losing state funding if they have not acted by July 1st.

Copyright 2017, KLCC.