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Teton Valley News

Comment on school mascot July 8

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Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 11:00 pm | Updated: 10:06 am, Wed Jul 3, 2013.

Members of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes met with Teton School District representatives Monday to express their support for discarding the high school’s Redskins mascot and logo.

Randy’l Teton, the tribes’ public affairs manager, said leadership was in “full support of discarding” the Redskins’ moniker. She said the Teton High School mascot “does not recognize Native American heritage and is disrespectful of all Native Americans,” including the Shoshone-Bannock.

Teton said that, when the nickname was adopted some 60 years ago, those who selected it might have thought they were honoring Native Americans, “but that’s all changed,” she said. “We have to be able to understand each other’s culture and respect each other.”

 Teton said she and SB tribal leaders Nathan Small, chairman; Glenn Fisher, vice chairman; council members Blaine Edmo and Darrell Dixey; Angelo Gonzales, executive director; Lori Edmo-Suppah, SB news editor and tribal members Larry, Clarence and Mary Teton, representing the Teton family, met with Monte Woolstenhulme, TSD superintendent; Frank Mello, THS principal; Brody Birch, athletic director and Doug Petersen, TSD board president.

“It was a really good discussion, and we left the meeting feeling good about the decision” to remove the Redskins reference, said Teton. Tribal leadership was due to send a letter of support to the school district as this went to press.

“We’re happy the issue was brought to our attention,” she said. “We’re all learning from each other at the same time.”

Teton suggested the district install a commemorative plaque or other display to show the Sho-Ban Tribes thrived in the valley and continue to do so.

Native Americans known as Teton, of which Randy’l is a family member, were original inhabitants of the Teton Valley in Idaho and still use the area for hunting grounds, she said. She would like to see the schools participate in education and training of staff and students regarding the Native Americans who reside here now or used the area 100 years ago.

She and members of her family and others still say their prayers to their ancestors when they come to the valley.

The TSD board of trustees July 8 will hear public comment on the district’s intent to remove all references to Redskins from its high-school mascot and logo during the district board meeting July 8 at the THS auditorium at 7 p.m.

Woolstenhulme said he’s willing to listen to others, including members of the community, alumni, people affiliated with the district and more, regarding his decision last month to immediately remove the “Redskins” moniker from the district.

Woolstenhulme, who independently decided on the change, held off to hear public comment after a meeting with TSD board chairman Doug Petersen June 12.

Public outcry over the issue, including a “Save the Redskins” Facebook page and a petition demanding the public be heard, has been intense since the announcement June 10.

An article in the Native American Times reported July 1 that the National Indian Education Association called for immediate elimination of race-based Indian logos, mascots and team names from educational institutions throughout the country.

The NIEAS passed the resolution at its 40th Annual national convention in Milwaukee in October, according to the story written by Barbara Munson and linked from the TSD web site.

“Mascotizing reduces persons to caricatures, it reduces intrinsic worth to financial worth, it creates an environment of ignorance and intimidation,” said Chris Kraatz, visiting assistant professor, Indiana University, in the article, “The Truth about American Indian Mascots,” which can also be linked from the TSD web site.

New TSD trustees Carol Dansie and Delwyn Jensen will be sworn in July 8.

TVN en Español

Los miembros de las Tribus Shoshone-Bannock se encontraron con representantes del Distrito Escolar de Teton el lunes para expresar su apoyo a desechar la mascota de los Redskins (Pieles Rojas en español) y el logotipo de la escuela secundaria.

Randy’l Teton, el gerente de asuntos públicos de las tribus, dijo que el liderazgo del tribu dió su apoyo completo a desechar el nombre Redskins. Dijo que la mascota de la escuela secundaria “no reconoce la herencia indígena y es irrespetuosa de todos los Indios americanos,” incluso el Shoshone-Bannock.

Teton dijo que, cuando el apodo se adoptó hace aproximadamente 60 años, aquellos que lo seleccionaron podrían haber creído que honraban a Indios americanos, “pero todo esto se cambió,” dijo. “Tenemos que ser capaces de entender la cultura de cada uno y respetar el uno al otro.”

© 2015 Teton Valley News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.

11 comments:

  • Rebel60 posted at 1:59 pm on Mon, Jul 15, 2013.

    Rebel60 Posts: 7

    Course they could change it to a name that is the most insulting and demeaning name there is to call a Native American. They could be the Teton Sho-Ban.

     
  • ProNative posted at 4:06 pm on Fri, Jul 12, 2013.

    ProNative Posts: 15

    New names for Teton High School: Redcoats, Monarchs, Benedicts (Benedict Arnold), Confederates, Rednecks, Spuds, Rainbows, Snow Whites, Doughboys, more to come.

     
  • Rebel60 posted at 1:22 pm on Tue, Jul 9, 2013.

    Rebel60 Posts: 7

    Honor? Where is the honor in Fort Hall. I grew up across the river. It's sad. Teton respects the image and traits of a people who have lost honor and respect for themselves.

     
  • ProNative posted at 12:36 pm on Tue, Jul 9, 2013.

    ProNative Posts: 15

    Rebel60, Your WHITE INDIAN MASCOT is an insult to our culture and a joke when you whites TRY TO DRESS in our sacred image. You WHITES HAVE NO HONOR, you don't know what honor is. Your kind could never honor our sacred people. Your people know nothing of our culture or even care. That is why you have a FAKE WHITE INDIAN as a mascot and a racist name for a nickname. Your school asked the local tribe for advice, and they told you to rest your mascot, if you really believe in honoring the Native, then the honorable thing to do is abide by the tribe's wishes. That is called respect. But you Whites have never respected us before, why start now, right?

     
  • Rebel60 posted at 10:00 am on Tue, Jul 9, 2013.

    Rebel60 Posts: 7

    Tetons mascot is portrayed as a noble and proud person. They are portraying the past. Drive through Fort Hall and decide for yourself who is honoring the traits of a people from a 150 years ago. The Native American image is very positively portrayed at Teton high school. How is it portrayed in Fort Hall?

     
  • ProNative posted at 12:40 pm on Mon, Jul 8, 2013.

    ProNative Posts: 15

    It's time to educate all you White racists on this issue. NO TRUE NATIVE sees this racist word REDSKIN as an honor. You will never see a tribal government honor anything WHITE. If this is an honor, it must be for the true Native Warriors, that defended our tribal lands against the WHITE INVADERS and your U.S. Government during the Indian Wars. Natives celebrate OUR VICTORY and YOUR DEFEAT at Little Bighorn. We spit on your General Custer and your race! We will never forget what your race tried to do, which is to exterminate the Native American. You whites are so stupid for honoring your enemy. We as REAL AMERICANS will never honor you for anything! Native Americans would never honor the white enemy!

     
  • teton_view posted at 9:29 am on Mon, Jul 8, 2013.

    teton_view Posts: 40

    Congratulating Monte on making the decision himself, and not throwing the board into the fire, might be the single most laughable statement I've ever read on this website.

    Monte is a coward, pure and simple. If he was brave, he would have announced his decision when school was in session, instead of slinking around after the year had ended. It takes no bravery to grandstand a politically correct decision that he knew would get his name in local and national papers. Egotism defined.

    Even when he announced that he was going to listen to the public, Monte has never had ANY interest in keeping the mascot. The July 8 meeting is a farce. All he's going to do is entertain notions of what to CHANGE the mascot to. He has no intention of keeping Redskin.

    It's amazing that people haven't awakened sooner to his little kingdom. It's also amazing that the majority in this democracy ours that is Teton Valley, have no chance of keeping the Redskin mascot. As ever, the whiny loud vocal minority will get their way, which defines America now.

     
  • theQuazimoto posted at 9:34 am on Sun, Jul 7, 2013.

    theQuazimoto Posts: 2

    In making his decision, Monte has succumbed to the political pressure which is one of the things destroying the way of life we used to enjoy. Doing so unilaterally tells me Monte thinks a lot about himself.

    When school founders chose "Redskins," as the name to represent the school, they did not pick a name that denigrated a race. They chose the name of a proud people that had been equally feared a respected in the early days of this valley. No doubt they thought carefully about the name that would represent an organization designed to nurture their children. I say shame on Monte and anyone else who thinks this is an enlightened decision.

    Like the Egyptians, I'd love to see the people vote with their feet, show up at the next school board meeting, and let Monte know what they think.

    Concerned Valley Parent

     
  • Rebel60 posted at 10:04 am on Thu, Jul 4, 2013.

    Rebel60 Posts: 7

    Isn't Sho-Ban high school the Chiefs? Are they reducing native Americans to caractures? Why is Fort Hall making desicions for you? Offer to pay them something and they will support keeping the Redskins name. It would cost less than changing your mascot.

     
  • just me posted at 1:09 pm on Wed, Jul 3, 2013.

    just me Posts: 2

    It seems to me that a lot of the ugly arguments going on lately are due to perceived unilateral decisions by single-focus folks. County commissioners, planning board, school board, school district superintendent...It just depends on whose side you're on. I think Monte was brave to make the choice on his own, without throwing his board into the fire and having the community table the decision month after month after month. Someone stepped forward, for the better or worse. The tribes have spoken. Are we going to fight over that, too? Times have changed. Treasure your memories and good intentions and move on.
    Would you be willing to drive the Save the Redskins floats down the main drag at the Shoshone Bannock reservation? Hmmmm.

     
  • valleygirl posted at 7:18 am on Wed, Jul 3, 2013.

    valleygirl Posts: 7

    Just so you are aware there will be a couple floats in the parade with Save the Redskin on them. Many people are upset with the way Monte went about this on his own. I know some Native Americans that live in this valley and they are more offended by the way he is doing things than changing the mascot.