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INDIAN NICKNAMES ARE BECOMING EMBARRASSING

MOSINEE, Wis. - The Fighting Sioux nickname and logo are long overdue for replacement. They should have left the cultural scene along with other racially stereotypical icons such as Sambo's restaurants and blackface minstrel shows.

An ever-more-enlightened nation has seen over 1000 Indian mascots, logos and nicknames removed from high schools, colleges and universities since 1990. At question is not if this form of racism will leave the cultural mileaux, but when and how.

Community high schools and college campuses must make careful decisions as they try to find the best way to retire their Indian logos. This most important educational policy issue involves our nation's educational facilities being the vehicle of institutional racism directed at indigenous peoples.

In reading recent articles in the Herald, I find myself wondering why there is so little reported about what the university and local police are doing to protect the American Indian students and faculty who are living in a hostile environment and are being threatened and harassed on a daily basis.

Teach respect, not racism.

Barbara E. Munson

Munson is chair of the Wisconsin Indian Education Association's taskforce on Indian mascots and logos.

Grand Forks Herald, December 19, 1999