Roseburg’s School Board will consider whether to cancel their sports teams name “Indians.”

How do you evaluate the rhetoric telling us “Indians” perpetuates raciest stereotypes especially hurtful to Native Americans – because other schools name their teams after animals?

Do you know current Oregon high school sports teams include: Indians, Braves, Chieftains, Warriors, Irish, Fighting Irish, Vikings, Spartans, Celtics, Trojans, Saxons, Samurai, Scotts, Quakers, Highlanders, Knights, Axemen, Lancers, Cowboys, Cowgirls, Cheesemakers, Fishermen, Explorers, Saints, Pirates, Loggers, Pilots, Cavaliers, Raiders, Rangers, Outlaws, Mountaineers, Gladiators, Cavemen, Prospectors, Pioneers, Crusaders, Sailors, Navigators, Watchmen, Buckaroos, Techmen, Cruisers, Columbians, Millers, Boomers, Monarchs, Generals, Senators, Roughriders, Democrats, and Kingsmen.

It might occur to you the names used to represent schools are chosen for a reason. Ethnic, occupational, and warrior groups must be selected, for the most part, to bring respect or standing and in some cases to intimidate opponents.

As a resident of Roseburg School District and sports fan, I enjoy the competition between the top two wrestling programs in the state when our Roseburg Indians and the Crook County Cowboys get together. We cheer for our local Indians to defeat the Cowboys in a good-spirited match. Of course if the mascot names were reversed, we would still support our home town athletes.

Disclaimer: I have enough Indian blood to identify as Native American. In my opinion, this controversy over Roseburg High’s sports teams name is silly. We do not hear Irish, Scottish, Japanese, Greek, Italian, German or other ethnic groups complaining. They are honored.

I do not really care what we call our Roseburg High athletes, but the Roseburg School Board should resist being bullied into an expensive and heritage cancelling decision.

Ron Bolt

Roseburg

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(9) comments

Rise722

All peoples of all generations throughout history have had good and bad times. For instance, slavery is still ongoing in many countries....ask China.....

melrosereader

The headline should read: "Roseburg and Douglas County affirm their racist history."

1. Get rid of the racist team moniker.

2. Change the name of Joseph Lane Middle School.

NJ

"I have enough Indian blood ... this controversy... is silly." And that's my feeling of how the Tribal Board felt too, as in, sure, we'll make an agreement with you and look at it every 3 years, (but it's a silly white people problem that they need to figure out and doesn't really involve us at all).

Really, it's not about how the Tribe feels, it's more about how White People should feel with a modicum of understanding about White People's despicable history with the Tribe. A young tribal member enrolled in RHS finds it offensive and has spoken out. Perhaps it should be considered as how Roseburg is changing with the influence of our younger generations. Time passes. Things change. No one can stop that.

mworden

[thumbup]Spot on, NJ.

Mike

[thumbup]

garyd

[thumbup]

whizbang

"Really, it's not about how the Tribe feels..." Can we assume that you're speaking on behalf of the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians? Or are you saying that what the Tribe feels isn't relevant? Or are you saying that what White People should be feeling is more important than what the Tribe feels? Has the Tribe even made a public statement about how they feel?

NJ

Nope, you shouldn't assume anything, it's not good for you. I'm merely stating my opinion based on seminars I've attended from tribal liaison speakers, and experience working with tribes in Alaska.

mworden

Well, Ron, I read your list of team names and I don't recall the U.S. government having a policy to steal land from Senators or handing out smallpox infected blankets to the Irish or the Vikings. If the U.S. government sent troops to systematically kill or relocate Cheesemakers, then we need to learn about this atrocity.

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