Skowhegan Schools Vote To Retire ‘Indians’ Mascot
The Skowhegan school board voted 14-9 Thursday afternoon to retire the school's controversial Indians mascot.
Skowhegan was the last school in the state to dump its indigenous mascot. With the vote, Maine becomes the first state in the nation to eliminate Indigenous school mascots statewide, according to the ACLU of Maine.
There was no public comment at Thursday's meeting, but school leaders previously had heard from supporters and opponents of dumping the mascot.
The school board held a public hearing in January of this year.
In 2015, the school board voted 11-9 to keep the mascot. Opponents, including many members of the state's tribes, found the mascot offensive and dehumanizing. Supporters of keeping the mascot said it was meant to honor the native people who were the area's first residents.
Nearly 30 schools in Maine have retired mascots based on native tribes. In 2006, the Old Town Indians became the Coyotes. Most recently, Wells High School in June removed all Native American imagery from its Warriors mascot.