Statement of Greeting

September 25, 2000

UNC-Asheville Highsmith University Center

Dr. Cornel Pewewardy's Public Lecture:

"Why Educator's Can't Ignore Indian Mascots"

On behalf of the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs, North Carolina's seven State-recognized Indian Tribes, and four Indian Associations, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Dr. Cornel Pewewardy to North Carolina, a state with more than 80,000 American Indian citizens, by the 1990 Census, and the largest population of American Indians of any state east of the Mississippi River.

I regret that my schedule would not permit me to be in Asheville tonight. I know Dr. Pewewardy's work and would very much like to hear him speak, sing, and play his flute!

Dr. Pewewardy has worked to educate the public about the negative impact of American Indian mascot stereotypes on our Indian citizens and public education in America. I am pleased to share with him and with all of you gathered here tonight at UNC-Asheville news that the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs has adopted a RESOLUTION this summer calling for (quote) "all state agencies, Boards or Commissions, the State Boards of Education in each county in the state to discontinue the use of, and remove all references to, American Indian descriptions naming mascots, logos, and sports team names from their policies, publications, instructional materials, signage etc. by June 3, 2003." (unquote)

Complementing our state resolution are the repeated resolutions calling for such action by the Governors' Interstate Indian Council, the GIIC, the National Congress of American Indians and countless other Indian organizations and Tribes. The most recent of these resolutions was adopted just last month at the GIIC's national convention in Durango, Colorado. The GIIC is the oldest and most representative of State level American Indian issues in America.

Dr. Pewewardy's visit, outspokenness, valuable observations, and suggestions will help North Carolina and the Nation reach that 2003 goal called for by the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs, to discontinue the use of, and remove all references to American Indian mascots, logos, and American Indian sports team names in the name of respect for the American Indian citizens of America.

We are proud and grateful as a state to have you with us this afternoon and tonight at this public lecture. Have a good visit and keep up the good work!

With best regards,

Gregory Richardson, Executive Director

North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs.

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