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Maine governor signs bill to ban Native American mascots

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills' office says the bill she signed Thursday will become effective 90 days after the Legislature adjourns.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine public schools and universities will soon ban the use of mascots and logos depicting Native Americans.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills' office says the bill she signed Thursday will become effective 90 days after the Legislature adjourns.

Penobscot Nation Ambassador Maulian Dana says the law is "a huge step toward trust and respect" for indigenous people. Democratic Rep. Benjamin Collings said members of tribal communities are people, not mascots.

RELATED: Lawmakers vote to end Native American mascot use in Maine schools

Mills' office says California, Oregon and Wisconsin have similar restrictions, while South Dakota, New York and Michigan have called for the end of the use of mascots.

Republican opponents have argued that local boards should decide such issues.

RELATED: Skowhegan considers how to approach new school mascot

The last Maine high school to use such a mascot, Skowhegan Area High School, voted to stop using it this year.