"Moving Forward: Factors in the Retirement of Indigenous Mascots within Four Wisconsin K-12 School Districts"

Authors: Lauren Becker*, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire
Topics: Cultural Geography, Indigenous Peoples, Rural Geography
Keywords: K-12 School Districts, Mascots, American Indian Studies, Indigenous Theories & Methodologies, Wisconsin, Education
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/7/2020
Start / End Time: 10:15 AM / 11:30 AM
Room: Centennial Ballroom, Hyatt Regency, Third Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The use of Indigenous Peoples as team names and mascots within K-12 school districts in the United States has been contested for decades (source). Recent studies have concluded that exposure to Indigenous caricatures in learning environments has adverse effects on the health and development of American Indian students in districts which utilize these mascots, as well as non-American Indian students (source). School districts that continue to use Indigenous team names and mascots continually cite tradition as defense against change, but hundreds of school districts throughout the country have maintained community pride through a transition to another team name and mascot. This research builds on previous work (sources) to focus on the processes that the Osseo-Fairchild, Menomonie, Galesville-Ettrick-Trempealeau, and Tomah School Boards in Wisconsin undertook to retire their race-based nicknames in order to make their learning spaces less hostile to their Indigenous students more inclusive to all students and visitors.

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