U.P. schools with Native American mascots included in complaint

Three Upper Michigan schools are among 35 in the state at the center of the latest mascot name issue, and this time, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights is asking a federal agency to get involved.  The MDCR wants an order aimed at prohibiting the use of “American Indian mascots, names, nicknames, slogans, chants and/or imagery” in the state’s schools.

The Newberry Indians, Marquette Redmen and Gladstone Braves are the three K-12 schools with an American Indian name or likeness cited in the complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education.  No community colleges or universities in the state are included.

The filing states “the use of American Indian imagery reinforces stereotypes in a way that negatively impacts the potential for achievement by students with American Indian ancestry.”

It says using that imagery “creates a hostile environment and denies equal rights to all current and future American Indian students and must therefore cease.”

Officials from the three Upper Michigan schools named (Newberry, Marquette and Gladstone) have not yet responded to requests for comment on this issue.