Dartmouth Indians Name and Logo Could Be Banned By State
It's like deja vu all over again for Dartmouth residents who on April 5, 2022 voted to keep the Native American logo and "Indians" name in place for the Dartmouth Public School system.
A bill pending before the Massachusetts State Senate would prohibit all Massachusetts public schools from "using an athletic team or school mascot name that represents or is associated with Native Americans or denigrates any racial, ethnic, gender or religious group."
The legislation, sponsored by Boston Democrats Rep. Brandy Fluker Oakley and Sen. Joanne Comerford would require the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to bar schools from using names such as "Indians," "Warriors" and the like, currently in use at 23 Massachusetts public schools.
That includes the Dartmouth Indians and the Middleboro High School Sachems.
State House News Service reported that Rhonda Anderson, a western Massachusetts representative on the state Commission on Indians Affairs, told a recent legislative hearing, "Unfortunately, today, the remaining schools with native mascots are stubbornly attached to controlling our native identities, which they're using against our permission."
The Dartmouth Indian logo could vanish if this legislation becomes law.
The Dartmouth logo, a rendering of a Wampanoag Woodlands Warrior, was created in 1973 by Clyde Andrews, a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and a member of the Dartmouth High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Andrews defends the logo.
"In my eyes, it is not denigrating," he said.
Andrews said generations of Dartmouth residents have played under that logo.
"It's kind of an honor that people want to use it," he said.
Andrews said the logo represents "honor, respect and dignity" and it's "something to look up to."
He noted the Dartmouth High School Marching Band has competed internationally under the Dartmouth Indians flag without controversy.
Andrews said he was not notified of the recent legislative hearing on the proposed bill to ban the use of Native American logos and team names. He questioned why some state lawmakers are "trying to diminish people who are still thriving in the area" that are "alive and kicking."
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