The Reedsport School District may stop using its Braves mascot after hearing from a local tribe. Oregon law requires schools to discontinue Native American mascots unless they get the blessing of a tribe. The district has been known as the Braves for more than 50 years.
Dan Forbess is interim Superintendent of Reedsport School District. He met with representatives from the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw tribes earlier this month. They said they’d like Reedsport to change the mascot name. Forbess says he also received a letter from the Siletz Tribe that expressed willingness to work with the district and keep the name. The Coos, Lower Umpqua, Siuslaw Tribe is closer to Reedsport.
Forbess: “We have a little bit of a conflict between which tribe should we work with. We’re asking the Oregon Department of Education for their opinion and their recommendation. But, in the meantime, we’re moving forward with a process that could result in the name change.”
Forbess says the cost to remove the Braves name and mascot from the school is estimated at 60-thousand dollars. He says there’s a lot of local pride connected with the mascot, but if the tribe feels it’s discriminatory, it’s important to respect that.