FORT HALL — The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes (Tribes) is aware of Idaho Representative Chad Christensen’s proposal to introduce a resolution to the Idaho Legislature discouraging the removal of names, images, and symbols of Native Americans as mascots and images.
As a sovereign nation and as citizens of Idaho, we do not support this resolution.
Chairman Ladd Edmo states, “Rep. Christensen leaves out the Tribes’ position on the misappropriation of unacceptable terms referring to our Native American peoples, including racial names as “Redskins” and “Savages.” We ask the 65th Idaho Legislature to not approve this resolution.”
The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes support creating a safe, caring and responsible environment that promotes respect for all citizens within Idaho public schools. We do not condone stereotyping, discrimination, or any form of bigotry against any race, ethnicity, or people. Therefore, we are deeply disturbed by his efforts to disregard and ignore the fact that we, the ones who are being negatively portrayed, stand against the use of disparaging depictions of American Indians that are harmful to all students and the entire school community.
When the use and display of damaging words and imagery in schools are allowed, public schools are enforcing the students to tolerate racism, creating a racially hostile environment and engaging in the very same behavior that schools are proposing to fight in their campaigns against bullying.
Again, the continued use of American Indians as mascots is not an honor, as this practice enforces the grossly inaccurate portrayal of us as ‘savages’ and uncivilized people.
Further, it is detrimental to ALL students as it stunts their perspectives and creates misunderstandings of American Indians. We extend an offer to Representative Christensen to join us in supporting respect and dignity of every child for a more holistic public education.