The Aftermath of Redskins Indian Mascot Decisions: What’s Next?

Authors: Gary Arthur

Disciplines: Anthropology, Communications, Education, Geography, History, Law, Native American Studies, Political Science and Public Administration, Psychology, Social Work and Sociology

Themes: Activism, Education Reform, Family and Youth, Health and Wellness, Indian Identity, Leadership, Media, Racism and Prejudice

For decades Indian mascot names have been generally regarded as stereotypical and racist. Because of the divisive nature of Native American mascots, school systems from middle school through college level have in the past and are now coming to terms with changing these names. The “Redskins” mascot name is particularly offensive. A number of high schools have dropped the Redskin mascot name, but the decisions, procedures, judgments, and residual effects of change within these school systems and communities differ. What happens after a mascot change and how this impacts communities who for many decades used these names in their school systems is an area that can be as critical as the decision to change itself.