AMERICAN INDIAN SPORTS MASCOTS
(Focus on Buncombe County(NC) and Clyde A. Erwin H )
Should images of American Indians
and American Indian religous
symbols and imagery be used as sport mascots?
WNCCEIB & its Mascot Education & Action Group (MEAG) concludes that the answer to this question
is "NO". The time for change is now.
Scroll down through the links below for the
situation at Clyde A. Erwin High School in Asheville, North Carolina, the statewide issue in N.C., and the issue in east Tennessee OR
for LINKS & RESOURCES on the
overall national mascot situation, Click Here
Before you leave, please send an email to the Chair of the Buncombe County Board of Education, Mr. Wendell Begley requesting him to re-open the issue and to eliminate American
Indian mascots at Erwin and in the Buncombe Co. (NC) Public Schools. Also,
you can contact otherBuncombe County
School Board Members or Superintendent or Attorney
You may also use this internal search
engine to look for specific people or other aspects of the mascot issue:
June 6, 2002,
N.C.State Board of Education Passes Resolution Regarding Indian Sport Mascots
-Recommended by the N.C. Advisory Council on Indian Education, the Resolution calls on all public schools in North Carolina to "educate themselves on the educational, curricular, and psychological effects of using American Indian sport mascots and logos, and; that all public school administrators review their policies and procedures toward the use of American Indian sport mascots, logos, and all demeaning imagery."
June 5, 2002, The Charlotte Observer: "Indian mascot moniker at issue: N.C. board may ask schools to revisit images of Native Americans"
-article by reporter Anna Griffin, the CO's Raleigh Bureau
May 19, 2002,
State School Board Chair corrects April 30, 2002 Asheville Citizen-Times editorial
-He wants it understood that the State Board is not calling for elimination of Indian mascots but will vote only for school distircts to study and review the issue
May 4, 2002
School Board should reconsider Erwin mascot issue
-Guest commentary by Dr. Robert Phillips in the Asheville Citizen-Times
May 1, 2002
N.C. Advisory Council on Indian Education presents resolution to NC State Board of Education
-Associated Press story
April 30, 2002
Asheville Citizen-Times Editorial praises N.C. Advisory Council's Resolution: "It's time to consider some changes on symbols that can divide us"
-NC Advisory Council on Indian Educaton calls for elimination of Indian sport mascots in N.C. public schools
Also see links to letters-to-editor prompted by Editorial
February 26, 2002
N.C. Advisory Council on Indian Education passes Resolution on Indian sport mascots (Not announced publically until presentation to State Board of Education on May 1, 2002)
-Endorses N.C. Commission on Indian Affairs goal of June 2003
February 20, 2002
The Smoky Mountain News(Waynesville, NC) "Mascot Display Takes Aim At Stereotypes"
-Mascot Education & Action Group (MEAG)'s display "It's Only A Game?" at Western Carolina University well received
Also, see impact the exhibit had on a perceptive 8th grade Student Body President, "Taking on Tradition: Cullowhee Valley eighth grader wants to do away with the school's long-time Rebel mascot" Smoky Mountain News, Feb 20, 2002
November 8, 2001
The Greenville (TN) Sun: "Open Discussion Centers On Use Of American Indians As Mascots"
-NC Mascot Education & Action Group along with Intertribal Association show "Images of Honor" in east Tennessee to large crowd
November 7-13, 2001
The Mountain Xpress(Asheville, NC): "All--Native--American Hero: Activist-In-Training Bruce Two Eagles"
-Cover story feature on a leader in the N.C. and national mascot movement
August 26, 2001
Asheville Citizen Times: Erwin educator forms school mascot education group
-Western NC teacher starts "North Carolina Educators
for the Elimination of Racist Mascots"(NCEERM)
NCEERM's News Release
Email NCEERM at firstname.lastname@example.org
web site address:
April 27, 2001
Family that filed USJD complaint in Erwin High
School case raise the issue in Tennessee
-Pat & Don Merzlak now live in Mosheim, TN
April 22, 2001
Asheville Citizen-Times Guest Column: "Using 'political correctness' label as a battering ram"
-WNCCEIB/MAEG coordinator Monroe
Gilmour addresses the issue using Erwin Indian mascot issue as prime example
April 14, 2001
Asheville Citizen-Times: "Commission on Civil Rights calls for the end of Indian nicknames in schools"
-Local angle on the national story;
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights calls for elimination of Indian sport
mascots; includes link to full Commission statement
April 10, 2001
Letter to North Carolina Principals
-Cover letter for information packet
sent to principals of about 60 non-Indian North Carolina
public schools which have American Indian sport mascots.
This letter is a follow-up to a workshop on mascots given at
the March 26-28 Dept. of Public
Instruction statewide conference on
"Closng the Minority Achievement Gap"
March 13, 2001
Asheville Citizen-Times Guest Column: "Mascots are 'at best
inaccurate, at worst a mockery' by Lawrence Sampson
-Guest column addresses earlier
column by pro-mascot Cherokee One Feather editor Joseph Martin
February 17, 2001
Charlotte (NC) Observer:
"Indian mascots secure for now?"|
-Article about statewide mascot issue, includes
Buncombe County Board of Education as example of county Board that is
intransigent on the issue;
Also see Feb. 26, 2001Letters to Editor
in response from
Buncombe County mascot group members
February 16, 2001 Asheville(NC) Citizen-Times
"Camp ditches Indian motif: Owners make move out of respect for climate of the times"|
-Largest boys summer camp in the southeast (located in Buncombe County where
Erwin High School is) shows "vision and courage" in nationally significant move
February 15, 2001 Former
Eastern Band Cherokee Chief, Joyce C. Dugan's Report on Imagery At Clyde A.
Erwin High School|
-Chief Dugan endorses "Warrior" mascot but calls
for removal of Erwin's 25' American Indian "Lawn Jockey"; Report led to
US Justice Department "Closure Letter" on
their investigation and compromise agreement with the Buncombe County
Board of Education.
February 7, 2001
Asheville(NC)Citizen-Times "It's a question of justice, true healing"
by Lori B. Girshick|
-Letter to editor commenting on Buncombe County
(NC)Board of Education closing mascot issue at Clyde A. Erwin High School
February 2, 2001
Asheville(NC)Citizen-Times "Board: "Warrior" Issue Over"|
-Board ignores NC Governor, State School
Superintendent & NC Commission of Indian Affairs in its decision
February 1, 2001
Asheville(NC)Citizen-Times "Erwin High Mascot Case Officially Ends"|
-The U.S. Justice Department closes its case at
Erwin but citizens to continue their effort to eliminate offensive mascots
September 30, 2000
EDITORIAL, Asheville(NC)Citizen-Times "Indian mascots
an idea whose time has passed"
-U. of Kansas' Dr. Cornel Pewewardy visit to
Asheville prompts powerful editorial
in the region's largest newspaper
|September 26, 2000 Asheville
"Education key to fighting negative ethnic stereotypes"
-U. of Kansas' Dr. Cornel Pewewardy speaks in
|September 25, 2000 Intertribal Association Brings Dr. Cornel
Pewewardy to Asheville|
-National education leader and famed musician
to speak at UNC-Asheville
|August 8, 2000 North Carolina
Governor Jim Hunt sends encouraging letter to WNCCEIB
-Governor points to mascot's negative impact on "integrity of
our public education curriculum"
|June 8, 2000 N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs calls
for end to sports mascots in North Carolina
-Resolution asks for public schools, state agences to act
by June 30, 2003
|April 17, 2000 Intertribal Association Request to N.C. Human Relations Commission
-Intertribal Association mother sends poignant letter
asking for action not words
April 12, 2000 NEWS RELEASE: "National Spotlight To Shine On Erwin Mascot
-Local American Indian Leader to speak in Illinois &
-National importance of US Justice Dept. report on
imagery at Erwin High School
February 4, 2000 Asheville(NC)Citizen-Times|
Headline: "Is Buncombe School Board serious about its
anti- bullying program?"
-Guest column by Monroe Gilmour; draws parallels between
Board intransigence on mascots
and school yard bullies
November 23, 1999 Asheville(NC)Citizen-Times Editorial|
Headline: "It's time for action on symbolism at Erwin
Note: The AC-T also printed Dr. Jace Weaver's
entire report opposite the Editorial
November 19, 1999 Asheville(NC)Citizen-Times|
Headline:"Report: Erwin High imagery offensive"
November 16, 1999 NEWS RELEASE|
Intertribal Assoc. hails Justice Dept. report,
urges Erwin to implement
November 10, 1999 Release of Justice Department Report|
Yale University Professor examines sacred American
imagery used offensively at Erwin High School
October 21, 1999 Showing of film: "In Whose Honor?"|
Confused by Erwin Mascot issue? Come see this!
|October 16-20, 1999 Erwin mascot to be presented at
National Indian Education Conference in Oklahoma City"|
Intertribal Assoc.'s Bruce Two Eagles to present
|October 5, 1999 Erwin 'Warrior' mascot: Symbol of a state and
national concern "
WNCCEIB letter to Buncombe Co. School Board
|August 9, 1999
News Conf: "S-word gone, Indian Warrior should go too"|
S-word painted over; schools' hiring practices
symbolic of indifference to Indians
1999 WNC Methodists Call For Elimination of Indian mascots
-Lead editorial in "Asheville Citizen-Times"
|May 22, 1999 "Schools must banish
negative images of Indians"
-WNCCEIB Commentary in "Asheville
1999 Erwin High distributes derogatory t-shirt at field day
* * * * * * * *
To read more about the two year history of the Erwin High mascot controversy
and the U.S. Justice Department probe, scroll down the page
and click on specific events, news items, or documents. The first section
covers early 1999 and the Justice Department probe. That section is followed
by the previous history from November 1996 through the end of 1998 and by
links to web sites on national efforts to eliminate American Indian mascots.
Late January 1999
US Justice Department Investigates
Use of American Indian Mascots
in the Buncombe County School
System in NC
Early Febuary, 1999
Erwin Faculty, Buncombe County
School Board, Intertribal Association respond to
Local (Asheville) Newspaper
speaks out on the Mascot Issue.
Mid Febuary, 1999
National Media Focuses Attention
on Discriminatory use of Indian Mascots in Buncombe County, NC.
Early March, 1999
Buncombe Co. School Board
Votes to Eliminate "S-word" but retain
Warrior and "Lawn jockey.
will stay but squaws must go
School Board Action:
Buncombe Co. School Board Resolution
of March 4, 1999
U.S. Justice Dept. "compromise":
U.S. Justice Dept. Letter March 4, 1999
Scroll or Page Down for history leading up
to the March
1999 School Board vote and for more links
"Let us put our minds together and see
what life we can make for our children."
-- Sitting Bull
Western North Carolina Citizens For An End To Institutional Bigotry
PO Box 18640
Asheville, NC 28814