Alabama-Coushatta Tribal Council calls for Port Neches-Groves ISD to drop mascot
The Tribe calls the district’s use of the logo disparaging, and denigrating.
LIVINGSTON, Texas (KTRE) - The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas’ governing body, the Tribal Council, signed a resolution this week asking a Texas school district to stop using its mascot.
Port Neches-Groves ISD uses The Indians as its mascot. The logo is emblazoned on the front of the high school, as well as on the school’s online pages and social media, as typical of most school districts. The Tribe calls the district’s use of the logo disparaging, and denigrating.
The resolution says that while most professional sports, institutions of higher education, and public and private schools across the nation have recognized and accepted that the practice of using Native Americans as mascots is dehumanizing, stereotyping Native people, and decreases self-esteem of Native youths, the school district “continues to disparage Native ceremonial dances and denigrate the sanctity of war bonnets.”
The council says mascots should reflect the best of what teams and schools represent, and unite people rather than divide them, and that “if PNG truly wishes to honor Native American people, the Tribe encourages them to include real history, culture and traditions of the Native American Tribes and their people in their curriculum.”
The council goes on to say that mockery of people should not be confused with respect for culture and tradition. The Tribe says they fully support all efforts to remove Native mascots from the Port Neches-Groves Independent School District.
All seven members of the Tribal Council were present at the signing of the resolution and supported it, according to Council Chairperson Ricky Sylestine.
According to the Beaumont Enterprise, in 2020 Cherokee Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin asked the district to stop using the mascot, rescinding a letter the district had received from leadership of the Cherokee Nation in 1979 approving the district’s use of it. However, the school district has refused that request from current Cherokee Nation leadership.
We have reached out to the Port Neches-Groves ISD administration for a response to the resolution.
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