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Che Butler, who was in high ...
Che Butler, who was in high school at the time, brought it up after he witnessed a Molalla High School halftime show featuring a Native American mascot with a target painted on his bare chest.
Butler, who is a member of the Siletz tribe, argued it is a sign of disrespect for the mascots to continue to be used.
On December 7, 2006, Che ...
On December 7, 2006, Che Butler, Siletz Tribal member and senior at Taft High School, and Luhui Whitebear, Coastal Band Chumash Tribal member, gave a presentation on the use of Native American mascots by Oregon public schools before the State Board of Education.
In 2007, the Superintendent of Public Instruction Advisory Committee on Native American Mascots asserted the dignity of every human person and recognized the importance of respecting the cultures and sacred symbols of all Peoples.
hey recognized the harmful impacts of racial stereotyping of sports mascots in the social identity development and self-esteem of Native American young people.
he advisory group publically opposed stereotypes, policies and practices that demeaned and degraded people.
The current effort to ban Native ...
The current effort to ban Native American mascots in Oregon was kick-started 6 years ago by then-high school student and Siletz tribal member Che Butler.
His basketball team played in Molalla.
His family witnessed a halftime show that he says was derogatory toward Native traditions.
Butler's effort bore little fruit at first, but he testified during a series of hearings this spring as the issue came back to the forefront.
"I didn't come here to try and hurt people or come here to offend people or try and take something away from them that gives them a sense of pride.
I just came here because it was a hurt and it's something that needs to be addressed that hasn't been addressed.
It's just been swept under the rug for all these generations," Butler
told the committee.
In Molalla, Superintendent Wayne Kostur says some changes were made after Che Butler's initial push to ban the school's mascot.
Che Butler - a member of ...
Che Butler - a member of the Siletz Tribe- first raised the issue with the board 5 years ago.
He says the mascots are from an era when native peoples were forced to cut their hair and abandon their heritage for western ways.
"The only time we were allowed our heritage was when we walked into the gym and that image was on the wall", he
told the board.
Oregon Indian Education Association
Originally brought up to OIEA and the Oregon Indian Education Youth Association by student Che Butler who had experienced the negative effects of these stereotypical mascots during sports events, the OIEA membership overwhelming passed a resolution (click here for resolution) to establish the elimination of all Native American mascots in all school activities within the State of Oregon.
As a result of Che's powerful presentation to the Oregon State Department of Education's Board, the Native American Mascot Advisory Committee (click here for news release) was formed to study this issue.
Preliminary results of their draft report were reviewed in October 2007 by the Superintendent's Youth Advisory Team and a meeting of stakeholders from the districts with Native American mascots in their high schools along with members of the Mascot Advisory Committee. (Click here for State Superintendent Susan Castillo's recent Native American Mascot Letter.) Since Superintendent Castillo is asking the nine federally recognized Tribes in Oregon to respond from their respective Tribal Councils concerning this matter, OIEA and student Che Butler are available to meet individually with the nine federally recognized Tribes in Oregon and their respective Tribal Councils concerning this important matter that affects all Tribal students in Oregon schools.
To contact OIEA to schedule Che's
presentation during a Tribal Council meeting, please contact OIEA.
Even when schools believe that they have a positive Native American mascot, opposing teams deride it and provide a truly negative environment for Indian students.
We believe schools should be welcoming, safe and positive for all students and Indian mascots do not support that for our students.
(Click here for student Che Butler's recent letter to the Oregon State Department of Education)