Intertribal Council Mascot Resolution (2001)


Number 2001 - 08

WHEREAS, the Intertribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes is an organization that united the tribal governments of the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), and Seminole Nations, representing over 400,000 Indian people throughout the United States; and

WHEREAS, the Intertribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes Education Committee is dedicated to promoting quality education for American Indian students that includes cultural awareness and a sense of diversity among America's student population; and

WHEREAS, the Five Civilized Tribes believe the use of derogatory American Indian images such as mascots by public schools perpetuate a stereotypical image of American Indians that is likely to have a negative impact on the self-esteem of American Indian children; and

WHEREAS, negative images and stereotypes about American Indians as mascots contributes to a hostile learning environment that affirms the negative images and stereotypes that persist in America about American Indians; and

WHEREAS, American Indians as mascots is a negative means of appropriating and denigrating our cultural identity that involves the display and depiction of ceremonial symbols and practices that may have religious significance to American Indians; and

WHEREAS, to continue the negative use of American Indian's tribal names and images is an offensive and disgusting practice that would be considered intolerable were other ethnic groups or minorities depicted in a similar manner; and

WHEREAS, on April 13, 2001, the United States Commission on Civil Rights issued a Statement on the Use of Native American Images and Nicknames as Sports Symbols that called for an end to the use of American Indian images and team names by non-Indian schools; that stereotyping of any racial, ethnic, religious or other groups when promoted by public education institutions, teach all students that stereotyping of minority groups is acceptable, a dangerous lesson in a diverse society; that schools have a responsibility to educate their students; they should not use influence to perpetuate misrepresentations of any culture or people; and

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Intertribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes joins the United States Commission on Civil Rights call to eliminate the stereotypical use of American Indian names and images as mascots in sports and other events and to provide meaningful education about real American Indian people, current American Indian issues, and, the rich variety of American Indian cultures in the U.S.

Adopted by the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma meeting at Durant, Oklahoma on July 13, 2001, by a vote of 24 for, 0 against, and 0 abstentions.

Bill Anoatubby, Governor, Chickasaw Nation (Signed)
R. Perry Beaver, Principal Chief, Creek Nation (Signed)
Chadwick Smith, Principal Chief, Cherokee (Signed)
Jerry Haney, Principal Chief, Seminole Nation (Signed)
Gregory Pyle, Chief, Choctaw Nation (Signed)

July 14, 2001

P.O. Box 948. Tahlequah, OK 74465 (918) 456-0671 Fax (918) 924-1150

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