State Watch

Inslee signs ban on Native American mascots

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed legislation on Monday that bans schools in the state from using Native American names, symbols and imagery as mascots, logos and team names unless the institution has received approval from a tribal government.

The bill also calls for the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to create a grant program to help schools fund some of the costs that may come with changing names and imagery.

“This bill will end the disrespectful use of Native American imagery in our public schools,” Inslee said at the bill signing.

The measure passed through the state Senate on April 6 in a vote of 40 to 9, and it cleared the state House on April 12 in a vote of 90 to 8.

The bill is set to take effect in the coming school year.

Washington’s adoption of the measure follows a number of moves across the country to stop using imagery of Native American culture.

Last month, the Cleveland Indians banned headdresses and painted faces at games after announcing last year that they plan to change their name.

The Kansas City Chiefs instituted a similar policy, banning fans from wearing headdresses and certain face paint in its stadium.

Tags Jay Inslee Native American culture Native American mascot controversy Washington
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