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California Indian Tribe Backs School’s ‘Redskins’ Mascot

An Indian tribe in California supports a local school’s use of the “Redskins” mascot that California legislators want to ban.

The Tule River Tribal Council, located in the heart of California’s Central Valley, wrote a letter to California Gov. Jerry Brown urging him to allow Tulare Union High School to continue using the “Redskins” mascot.

Brown is considering signing a new bill, AB 30, the California Racial Mascots Act, which was recently passed by the state legislature in the wake of media debate surrounding the name of the Washington Redskins NFL football team.

The tribe’s letter to the governor argues that while “the history surrounding the name ‘Redskin’ is negative…it is time to mend these feelings and move on.” The tribal council supports the school’s use of the mascot to express “tremendous pride and honor” felt by “students and alumni.” The letter adds: “Although we will never forget what has happened to us in the past, we do not wish to dwell on it either.” The school district has also written to the governor to oppose the bill. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill in 2004.

There are four schools in California using the “Redskins” name, according to the Fresno Bee. Tulare Union has used it since 1924.

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