Native Mascots

Bill Name: An Act prohibiting the use of Native American mascots by public schools in the Commonwealth

House Number: H.443

Senate Number: S.247

House Petitioners: Nika C. Elugardo, Tami L. Gouveia

House Cosponsors: Jack Patrick Lewis, Maria Duaime Robinson, Denise Provost, Jason M. Lewis, Lindsay N. Sabadosa, Marjorie C. Decker, Jonathan Hecht, Natalie M. Higgins, Russell E. Holmes, Patricia D. Jehlen, David Henry Argosky LeBoeuf, Christina A. Minicucci, Tram T. Nguyen, Thomas M. Stanley

Senate Presenter: Joanne M. Comerford

Senate Cosponsors: Tami L. Gouveia, Jack Patrick Lewis, Denise Provost, Jason M. Lewis, James B. Eldridge, Mindy Domb, Patricia D. Jehlen, Maria Duaime Robinson, Ruth B. Balser

Committee: Joint Committee on Education

Bill Description: Currently about 38 public high schools in the state use Native American mascots. This bill would task the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education with establishing regulations to prohibit Native American mascots in Massachusetts public schools. Decades of social science research have shown that Native American mascots are harmful to both Native American and non-Native youth. These mascots are not educationally sound because they reflect and reinforce racial stereotypes and prejudice. Further, for Native American youth, they generate a hostile learning environment, and diminish self-esteem, capacity to imagine possible future selves, and faith in their communities. Multiple Native American tribal nations and other Native American organizations in Massachusetts have recognized the negative health impacts of Native American mascots and called for their elimination. The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the country‚Äôs largest Native American advocacy group, has been fighting to end racist mascotry since the 1960’s.

Contact: Linda Thomas at

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