Western North Carolina Citizens for an End to Institutional Bigotry(WNCCEIB)

PO Box 18640, Asheville, NC 28814
828-669-6677 Fax 828-669-8862
www.main.nc.us/wncceib/

EMAIL SENT TO PRINCIPALS OF NC PULBIC SCHOOLS
WITH AMERICAN INDIAN MASCOTS

February 17, 2003

TO: N.C. Public School Principals in schools with American Indian mascots

FROM: Monroe Gilmour, Coordinator            Don Merzlak, Elder              Bruce Two Eagles
N.C. Mascot Education & Action Group              E-AIM                          Intertribal Association
PO Box 18640, Asheville, NC 28814            (Educating Against
 828-669-6677 Fax: 828-669-8862                   Indian Mascots)

SUBJECT: Resources for implementing the State Board of Educationís Ďaction statementí

                    Re: State Superintendentís October 31, 2002 letter to LEA Superintendents

                                               http://www.main.nc.us/wncceib/NCMEAGindex.htm

Dear Principals:

In his October 31, 2002 letter to LEA Superintendents around the state concerning the use of American Indian mascots in the NC public schools, State Superintendent Dr. Mike Ward mentioned our organization (NCMEAG) as a resource for information on this important topic.

This email is going to the 46 principals of North Carolina schools with American Indian mascots. We are writing to share with you resources that we hope will be helpful in your schoolís carrying out the State Boardís admonition to "all educators of the public schools of North Carolina to educate themselves on the educational, curricular, and psychological effects of using American Indian sport mascots and logos, and; that a public school administrators review their policies and procedures toward the use of American Indian sport mascots, logos, and all demeaning imagery." The State Board also asked that reports on activities in this regard be submitted to the DPI for inclusion in the N.C. Advisory Council on Indian Educationís annual report.

Among the resources our organization has for sharing with you are a traveling exhibit, "Itís Only A Game?", a PowerPoint presentation CD & transcript by the same name, a 4-poster discussion-starter with teacher-guide, a 35 minute video produced by high school AP students in Wisconsin, ĎRemnants of Racism in Wisconsin Public Schools,í and numerous articles and references. We also have a web site devoted to this issue which has links to other resources.

On our web page, we have just added a list of all schools in the state with Indian mascots. We would appreciate your sharing with us any corrections, additions, or deletions that may need to be made. The NCMEAG web address is linked below (when you get there, scroll down to find the List of Schools link):

                                                http://www.main.nc.us/wncceib/NCMEAGindex.htm

We are also interested in feedback on your experiences in raising this topic with your faculty, students, and community. We know, from our own experience, that this issue can be very sensitive and potentially divisive if not handled carefully. We want to help you find ways to present the topic such that people will have an open mind, a listening attitude, and a desire to do what is best both for the 18,000 American Indian students in the N.C. public schools and for the many thousands of other students who have these mascots as a part of their educational experience.

Please do not hesitate to share any questions or concerns you have. We take the perspective that everything that happens at school is part of the schoolís curriculum. That perspective is what makes a discussion of the use of American Indian mascots so important. We will be pleased to share our experience in responding to questions that arise and will share specific resources that may be useful.

We also want to alert you to a workshop on American Indian mascots that will be offered at the March 24-26, 2003 "Closing the Achievement Gap" conference in Greensboro. The PowerPoint CD mentioned above will be used and other resources available. We will send more information later about this workshop.

Thank you for your attention and know we are prepared to work with you in whatever activities you decide to undertake.

* * * * *

E-AIM/Don Merzlak
E-mail Address(es):
  Wicohan2@cs.com

Intertribal Association/Bruce Two Eagles
E-mail Address(es):
  BTwoeagles@aol.com

NCMEAG/Monroe Gilmour
E-mail Address(es):                                                     
wncceib@buncombe.main.nc.us

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