Mukwonago is one of many places in Wisconsin with Indian names, but the state has now threatened them to change the nickname “Indians” or face a fine of $1,000 a day. The Marquette Warriors in Milwaukee Wisconsin (photo) backed down and changed their name to “Golden Eagles” in 1994, the Stanford Indians changed to the Cardinal in 1971, and William and Mary was forced by the NCAA in 2006 to change their Indian logo but allowed to keep the “Tribe” after years earlier being referred to as the “Savage Indians” by fans.
Mukwonago High School has been ordered by the State Department of Public Instruction to get rid of its nickname, the Indians, claiming that it violates Act 250, which bans raced-based and culturally insensitive school nicknames, according to Sports Grid, which states that more than 600 high schools have dropped Indian names. The Washington Redskins have held their ground so far.
One university official informed me that Native Americans ask for compensation from the school – generally in the millions of dollars annually – in order to support a college using any kind of Indian nickname.
The state has given Mukwonago an extension until Oct. 8 to change it, or possibly be subject to fines of $1,000 per day. The band is already called the Phantom Legion.
Mukwonago joins 16 Wisconsin towns which use Indian names:
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