Feds: Michigan schools may continue using Native American mascots

MohawksThe dozens of Michigan schools that use Native American mascots won’t have to change their names or images after feds Monday rejected a complaint by some of the state’s school districts.

That’s good news for school teams like the Clinton Redskins, Morely-Stanwood Mohawks,Utica Chiefs, Chippewa Valley Big Reds, Saugatuck Indians, Plymouth Canton Chiefs, Marquette Redmen and Grass Lake Warriors, to name a few.

The case could have forced schools nationwide to change their mascot’s name.

But the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights dismissed concerns that the negative stereotypes were impacting the academics of Native American students, saying the evidence was insufficient.

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights maintains the stereotypes are discriminatory and offensive.

“A growing and unrebutted body of evidence now establishes that the use of American Indian imagery reinforces stereotypes in a way that negatively impacts the potential for achievement by students with American Indian ancestry,” the agency argued. “Continued use of American Indian mascots, names, nicknames, logos, slogans, chants and/or other imagery creates a hostile environment and denies equal rights to all current and future American Indian students and must therefore cease.”

Here is a list of Michigan schools with American Indian mascots.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.