Retire the Red Raider's Policy Brief for the Gaston County School Board can be viewed here. The brief cites the GCS harassment policy, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the NC state constitution, all of which protect students from "discrimination, derogatory slurs, and derogatory cartoons and guarantee all students an equal opportunity to learn regardless of their race, color, religion, or ancestry." It also cites research and studies that show the negative psychological effects Native mascots have on American Indians. Recognizing this is a local, state, and national issue, the brief mentions education, civil rights, and sports organizations, as well as Native organizations, that have called for an end to Native mascots. Information regarding South Point's mascot and the associated cultural appropriation, as well as documents and resources are also included.
RRR recognizes that Natives being used as mascots is only one of the multitude of issues facing their people, some of them with much more severe repercussions. We stand in solitude with Native groups and the struggles they are undertaking, and are committed to learning more about these issues. The Standing Rock Syllabus is an incredible and rich resource created by Native scholars and activists to help others become more informed about major issues in the Native community: land sovereignty, stopping pipelines, fracking and mining, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) campaigns, and education and health inequality.
Change the Mascot is a national campaign to end the use of the racial slur “r*dskins” as the mascot and name of the NFL team in Washington, D.C. Launched by the Oneida Indian Nation, the campaign calls upon the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell to do the right thing and bring an end the use of the racial epithet. They created a fact sheet that answers some common questions regarding Natives as mascots.
Indian Country Today, a daily digital news platform that covers the Indigenous world, published an interview with Dr. Stephanie A. Fryberg, a member of the Tulalip Tribes and a professor at the University of Michigan. Fryberg is part of two studies that look into the psychosocial effects of Native-themed mascots on Native Americans. The studies found that Native mascots had "either direct negative effects on Native Americans or that these mascots activate, reflect, and/or reinforce stereotyping and prejudice among non-Native persons." Low self-esteem, low community worth, increased negative feelings of stress and depression were some of the negative psychological effects found through these studies.
Currently in production, Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting is a feature-length documentary that examines the issues surrounding the use of Native American names, logos, and mascots in the world of sports and beyond. The film details the words, images, and gestures many Native people and their allies find offensive and explores their origin and proliferation. Imagining the Indian delves into the history of Native peoples, the impact that stereotyping and marginalization have, and chronicles the momentum of the social movement to eliminate mascoting.
As many schools, teams, and institutions choose to make the change and others meet with continued resistance, The Ciesla Foundation invites you to engage with the film and consider the important subjects it addresses.
Adrienne Keene and Rebecca Nagle, citizens and advocates of the Cherokee nation compiled a syllabus for Critical Ethnic Studies titled "Elizabeth Warren, Cherokee Citizenship, and DNA Testing." Upon releasing her DNA test results in an attempt to prove Cherokee heritage, Elizabeth Warren sparked a flurry of debates that scholars have spent decades conducting research and producing studies on. The aim of this syllabus is to inform those that "know little about Cherokee history, heritage, and DNA," and to provide a "deeper understanding" of the issues facing Native Americans.
Reclaiming Native Truth, a project formed to dispel America's myths and misconceptions surrounding Natives, published a guide for allies, rich with research, statistics, resources, and advice on how to change the narrative.