SKOWHEGAN (NEWS CENTER Maine) - The discussion on Skowhegan High School’s controversial “Indian” mascot continued Thursday. At the MSAD 54 school board meeting, supporters of the name change, including Maine tribal leaders spoke. Speakers also included longtime Skowhegan residents in support of keeping the name.
“That’s our name. The whole town is called that. Not just the school,” said Judy York of Skowhegan.
The last time the mascot name was voted on by the school board was in 2015.
The discussion on Thursday was sparked by letters from the ACLU of Maine and Governor-elect Janet Mills. In their letters, the asked School Board Chair Dixie Ring listen to listen to tribal leaders and change the name.
The topic was not on the meeting agenda, but after word of the letters spread, members of the Skowhegan community and beyond had the chance to share their opinion. After hearing their comments. The school board voted to hold an open forum on the topic in early January at a larger venue.
“I think a component that’s been missing is including all voices at the table when they make a decision,” said Ambassador to the Penobscot Nation Maulian Dana. “This is really encouraging that they’re willing to open up the floor and hear from indigenous people about what these mascots do.”
Dana was influential having Old Town High School remove Native American imagery in their mascot and she hopes to do the same in Skowhegan.