Maine group wants to ban Indian school mascots

Augusta, Maine (AP) December 2010

The Maine Indian Tribal State Commission is going to ask the Legislature to ban schools from using American Indian nicknames.

At a meeting last week, commission members asked the Maine Human Rights Commission to co-sponsor the legislation.

Tribal Commissioner Chair Jaimie Bissonette Lewey says some Native American children have to attend schools with mascots such as “warriors” or “braves.” And she says sometimes fans from opposing schools will yell things such as “scalp them.”

She says the she finds most offensive school names are at Wiscasset and Sanford high schools, both of which call athletes “Redskins.”

Wayne Mitchell, a nonvoting tribal member of the Maine Legislature, tells the Bangor Daily News he expects the measure to be filed next month.

The Human Rights Commission didn’t act on the request.