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Future Of Roseburg High's 'Indians' Mascot Debated Among Community


A petition drive to keep a Native American-themed mascot for Roseburg High School is underway. 


In recent years, most Oregon public schools ended their Indian mascots, unless a local tribe agreed to co-sponsor it, which is what the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians and Roseburg High indicated in 2017. Under that agreement, the decision to use the mascot is revisted every three years.

With the three-year revisitation term currently up, some Roseburg alumni and families are working to keep the “Indians.” In an email to KLCC, organizer Sony Provencal says she’ll submit a petition ahead of the local school board’s meeting on Wednesday (2/24), saying the community identifies as "Indians" and supporters admire the Cow Creek Band.

But there have also been recent calls to end the “Indians”, with critics arguing neither the deal nor the mascot represents all native people. RHS alum Amanda Mendoza – who identifies as Muscogee Creek, Choctaw, and Cherokee, says non-Indians claiming the mascot honors native people doesn’t sit well with her and others.

A feedback form for Roseburg Public Schools has seen hundreds of responses already.

Copyright 2021, KLCC. 

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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