AP NEWS

Supporters call for referendum on ‘Indian’ nickname

March 22, 2019

SKOWHEGAN, Maine (AP) — Backers of keeping the “Indian” nickname at a Maine school district say the issue should be put to a referendum vote.

The Morning Sentinel reports several people showed up at a Skowhegan school board meeting Thursday night in “Indian Pride” shirts.

The School Administrative District 54 Board of Directors previously voted March 7 to “respectfully retire” the nickname, which the Penobscot Nation says is racist and demeaning to Native Americans.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine said the vote set up the state to become the first to end indigenous nicknames and mascots in schools.

State Rep. Joel Stetkis says he has petitions signed by 4,000 people to maintain the Skowhegan Indians name.

He says there should be a moratorium on the change until the public is able to vote.

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Information from: Morning Sentinel, http://www.onlinesentinel.com/