Is bison an actual choice or simply the choice of School District 25?
Pocatello High School Principal, Lisa Delonas, started the public campaign to retire the Indian logo in Sept, 2020, asking that the Pocatello/Chubbuck Board of Trustees NOT listen to opposition voices and to make the decision without public input.
We at, "Save Pocatello High School," then requested information from the district in an attempt to understand the process. We were given over 500 physical pages of documents by the school district. Many were emails, however some were "Word" type documents without date, times, or stamps. One group of pages were various versions of comments (many of which have been presented verbally to the School Board or included in opinion pieces) by Lisa Delonas to the School Board and Tribal representatives.
Given the contents of some of the documents, we have stated that we believe the Bison may have already been chosen as the new mascot of Pocatello High School.
Numerous iterations of one document includes this statement:
"We hope that by becoming the bison we can build a connection between our past and our future. Bison are beautiful, powerful, majestic creatures. They symbolize strength and unity and are revered for their power and the good fortune they brought the tribes. We are confident the bison will bring Pocatello High School good fortune as well."
Principal Delonas is now stating that the mascot has not been chosen, despite the comments in the paragraph above, and says that this statement was not presented to the Tribal Council.
While it is true, we cannot verify if this statement was ever presented to the tribes, the fact that the statement in question appears in multiple versions, clearly indicates that it was the thought of Principal Delanos at the time, even if ultimately she decided not to share it with Tribal members or the School Board.
In our opinion, a School Principal willing to silence dissenting voices, incapable of trusting the public to make the "correct choice" concerning the retiring of the Indian logo, seems likely to not trust the public to make the "correct choice" in choosing a "new" mascot or logo, especially one not preferred by the Principal.
We have serious questions and concerns about the mascot selection process being stacked against alternative options given that the mascot selection committee was handpicked by Lisa Delonas and it is this committee which will decide what to present to the Board of Trustees.
"Save the Pocatello High School Indians," simply asks the public to access the information and come to their own conclusion whether you approve of how Principal Lisa Delonas and the Pocatello/ Chubbuck School District have handled these important decisions.
Save the "Pocatello High School Indians" is always open to further clarification and documentation from the district and its representatives, and we will continue to clarify and update information as it becomes available.