Bill seeks to ban Native American mascots in WA schools

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A bill to ban the use of Native American mascots on high school sports teams in Washington had a public hearing Friday in Olympia. The bill was introduced by state Rep. Debra Lekanoff, D-Bow, an Alaska Native who is Tlingit and Aleut. The bill seeks to ban Native American names, symbols and images for use as public school mascots, logos or team names, as of next Jan. 1. Washington State has 29 tribes. The bill contends that the use of such names and symbols singles out Native Americans for derision and cultural appropriation. It fails to respect the cultural heritage of Native Americans or promote a productive relationship between governments.