The Great Lakes Intertribal Council is calling on Governor Scott Walker to veto legislation regarding race-based mascots. The bill makes it harder for a person to file a discrimination complaint against a school mascot. It would require a petition of signatures and then proof of discrimination to get a mascot changed.
Michael Allen is director of the Great Lakes Intertribal Council. He says the rule changes would encourage stereotyping of Native people.
The Lac du Flambeau tribe of Ojibwe is urging Governor Scott Walker not to sign a bill making it harder to change race-based school mascots. The Republican-backed legislation has passed the Assembly and the Senate. The new rules would require a petition of signatures and proof of discrimination before a school mascot can be changed.
Current law has it the other way around – a school must prove its mascot isn’t discriminatory.
Lac du Flambeau spokesman Brandon Thoms says the proposed rule changes encourage destructive stereotypes of Native people.
Lawmakers in the Assembly passed a bill making it harder to force schools to drop Indian nicknames and mascots.
The bill puts the burden of proof onto the group complaining of discrimination: instead of making the school prove it isn’t discriminating. The Republican legislation also requires signatures totaling 10 percent of the student body, instead of letting an individual file a complaint.
Supporters say it makes the process more fair. Opponents call it discrimination.