“It is time the University of Utah end the misappropriation of Native American traditions, customs and symbols and retire the ‘Drum and Feather’ logo and ‘Ute’ nickname,” reads a petition on Change.org filed by Samantha Eldridge from Salt Lake City, Utah and Indigenous Students and Allies for Change.
The petition has garnered just over 300 signatures so far and they are looking to get about 200 more.
“For decades, Native Americans and non-Native Americans from across the nation have protested the use of Native American mascots, nicknames and logos citing the discriminatory and harmful nature of such images,” the petition states. “By allowing University of Utah students and fans to wear Native American headdresses, paint their faces red and ‘play Indian’ throughout campus, at tailgating events and in the football stadium, the University of Utah is unilaterally allowing the denigration and mockery of Native American traditions, customs and religious symbols.”
The petition sites research that states how harmful the use of Native mascots can be to the self-esteem of Native students and sites graduation rates of Native students.
View the petition on Change.org.