A parent is asking the Indian River School District in Dagsboro, Delaware to remove its Indian mascot from two schools.
“I’m only offended because I don’t think any human species or race should be used as a mascot; in particular, our Native Americans because of such historical damages to society of our first people,” Lloyd Elling told WBOC-TV.
He said the Indian promotes stereotypes, which has been the argument for many Indian mascot removal cases across the country. This particular mascot is used at Indian River High and Selbyville Middle School.
In a June 12 letter to the editor, Elling says he wants more education about Native Americans taught in the Indian River School District and asks the district to implement a mascot that does not “teach students how to stereotype a group of people on the basis of race, religion, ancestry and cultural ethnicity.”
The Nanticoke Indian Tribe, which is also in Delaware, says it’s not offended by the mascot. Chief of the tribe, Herman Robbins told WBOC-TV the tribe has a good relationship with the district and that he is comfortable with the mascot, as long as it’s done tastefully.
The high school has had the Indian mascot since it was formed in the late 1960s, according to principal Mark Steele.
The National Congress of American Indians has taken a strong stance in opposition to the use of Indian mascots saying they “present a misleading image of Indian people and feed the historic myths that have been used to whitewash a history of oppression. Despite decades of work to eliminate the use of discrimination and derogatory images in American sports, the practice has not gone away.”