Toledo schools seeking mascot exception based on partnership with Cowlitz Tribe, location | Education
Cowlitz Indian Tribe Chairman David Barnett said Friday that the “Cowlitz Indian Tribe has not taken an official position on usage because we have not fully discussed it.”
“Ultimately, the issue will be voted on by Cowlitz Tribe membership,” he said.
The Toledo Indian mascot had used headdress images, the tomahawk costume, and a caricatured mascot costume in the past, but the district has worked with the Cowlitz tribe to make changes for several years.
That’s “part of the tribe’s respect and recognition of our responsibility to our mascot,” said Rust.
The tribe had previously asked students not to wear headdresses when playing games as they are not part of the local culture, and Toledo agreed. The school has also ditched its stereotypical mascot costume and the three Chief Wahoo logos that adorned the baseball field at the request of Major League Baseball.
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The question of mascots and respect is a complex one, Barnett said, and “House Bill 1356 requires us to educate ourselves about the meaning, history and use of tribal words in sports team names, both in general and in relation to the ones in particular Toledo Indians. “
For the past few months, community focus groups have been working to find a different name in case the district doesn’t get the exception they are looking for. So far, the “Riverhawks” have come out on top in community polls.