NEWPORT (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- The Nokomis Warriors will likely remain, but the image of a warrior could change.
RSU 19, centered in Newport, is building a $53 million combined middle and high school. With that, they asked parents and students a variety of questions including:
• Do you favor keeping the current name of the high school (Nokomis Regional High) for the new high school?
• Do you favor naming the new middle school the same as the high school (Nokomis Middle School)
• Do you favor retaining the mascot name “Warriors” for the high school?
• Do you favor using the same mascot name for the new middle school (Warriors)?
• Which name do you favor for Sebasticook Valley Middle School as it is repurposed to an elementary school?
• Which name do you favor for Somerset Valley Middle School as it is repurposed to an elementary school?
• What Mascot name would you like for the Sebasticook/Newport Elementary school?
• What Mascot name would you like for the Somerset (Valley) Elementary school?
Superintendent Mike Hammer said the district had received hundreds of responses and it appeared as if they would stay the Nokomis Warriors. He said even the elementary schools would have the Warriors as their logo. But they may be redesigning the logo.
"I think we've had conversations of having kids or people in the community design what that next depiction would be," Hammer said. "Based on being a warrior, it could be a more modern depiction or could be more traditional."
Nokomis mostly uses the "N" as their team logo, but they still do have some Native American images around their school.
None of these changes are set in stone yet, but a member of the Penobscot Nation tribe says she's happy to see the district take these steps.
"I think the word warrior, you can't really claim for any race, and I think it does evoke a sense of strength and courage," said Maulian Dana of the Penobscot Nation. "So I find that all well and good but where it comes problematic is when they're tying in our sacred symbols."
With Nokomis potentially changing their logo, that leaves one school in the state with a controversial mascot: the Skowhegan Indians.
"They're being very defensive over people telling them what's wrong with what they're doing," Dana said, "and that's human instinct to be defensive. But maybe they can learn from the example from these other schools that are choosing to not validate racism."
NEWS CENTER Maine called the Skowhegan school district for comment and didn't hear back.
The Nokomis survey will be open until Friday and can be found here.