Community to Honor Dartmouth High Indian Logo During Ceremonies
Dartmouth residents made it pretty clear last spring that they like the Dartmouth High School Indian name and logo and want to keep them. Later this month, the community will pay tribute to the Indian logo and the town's strong relationship with the indigenous community.
Following several years of debate over whether the Dartmouth Indian name and warrior logo are offensive, voters responded in April by rejecting an effort to replace both, voting 4,048 to 969 to keep the name and logo.
The Dartmouth School Committee affirmed the vote, deciding the keep things as they are.
At the heart of the debate is the logo, a rendering of a Wampanoag Woodlands Warrior created in 1973 by Clyde Andrews, a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), a member of the Dartmouth High School Sports Hall of Fame. An iteration of the original in 1974 by Andrews is still in use today.
On Thursday, September 23, 2022, two plaques are to be unveiled at Dartmouth High School honoring the Dartmouth Indian logo and its history in the community.
"The plaques will display the Indian logo and include a write-up about the history of the logo. It is meant to show respect for our Native American neighbors," Dartmouth School Superintendent Dr. Bonny Gifford said.
"Our plan is to unveil one at the high school in the morning. This will be displayed near the gymnasium in the main foyer," Gifford said. "That evening a second plaque will be unveiled at the stadium right on the 50-yard line."
A permanent place to display that plaque has yet to be determined.
Jacob Ventura, a 2005 Dartmouth High School graduate and a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), said, "I'm pleased that the community will finally have some finality on the issue of the Dartmouth Indian. After 81 percent of voters affirmed the symbol in a historic turnout this past April, the Indian is here to stay."
"These plaques will serve to commemorate the symbol's origins and will also serve to remind future students about the pride and honor that this Dartmouth Indian symbol represents to the town and our local tribal history," Ventura said. "Generations of Dartmouth students are united behind this logo."
The plaques are the gift of a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.
The Town of Dartmouth has a deep respect for and pride in the Wampanoag community. WBSM's Tim Weisberg recently highlighted a permanent display of Wampanoag history at Dartmouth Town Hall.