Controversy Over Indian Team Names
4:00 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Mascot Bill Could Become Law Thursday

A bill relating to race-based mascots is still sitting on Governor Scott Walker’s desk.  He until the end of the day Wednesday to sign or veto the bill, before it automatically becomes law.  The bill changes a process established in 2010 for how to handle complaints about race-based school mascots and team names. 

Supporters of the new process say it’s more fair – a person has to prove a mascot is discriminatory before they can get it changed.  And that person needs a petition of signatures to file an initial complaint.  Here’s Representative Steve Nass, who authored the  bill. 

“The process that exists under current law is wholly unfair, where one person can file a complaint – literally one person.  And that person steps into the shadows and the bureaucrats in Madison take over.  And you cannot win – a school district cannot win under the current process.” 

But the state’s tribes are urging the governor to veto the bill, saying Indian team names are racist.

WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke with Barbara Munson…a member of the Oneida Nation who’s been advocating against Indian mascots for twenty years.  Munson chairs the Indian Logo and Mascot Taskforce of the Wisconsin Indian Education Association.