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Mohawk High School Indian Mascot May Stay

Marcola High School

Some Oregon public schools will be allowed to keep their Native American Mascots…at least for now. The State Board of Education last week said that’s only if they secure permission from a tribe. One of those schools is in the Mohawk Valley—KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert speaks with the superintendent of Marcola School District.

Before Bill Watkins moved to Marcola two years ago, he grew up in Alaska. He says he was well immersed in Alaskan Native culture and has deep respect for native peoples everywhere. That’s why he was thrilled when he heard the mascot at Mohawk High school is the Indian.

“What a great opportunity to teach the real Indian history and Indian culture. The community here is very, very proud of their mascot. They have a beautiful Indian on the gym floor. I’ve had several meetings with community members that have been an Indian for the last 60, 70, 80 years. They’re terrified that they would have to lose that.”

Watkins says Marcola School District will seek written permission from the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde. He says they are already talking about Native American cultural opportunities for Mohawk students.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in a variety of media including television, technical writing, photography and daily print news before moving to the Pacific Northwest.
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