CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Cambridge Central School District has sparked some division over a proposal to change its mascot. After Thursday’s meeting no decision was made on whether the Cambridge School mascot, the Indians will retire.
During Thursday’s meeting, board members say they have made progress, but were not ready to vote on it just yet. The Cambridge School District Attorney Jeffery Honeywell agreed on drafting a new resolution for the Cambridge Board of Education to vote on.
The Cambridge Board of Education discussed keeping the name of the mascot, but changing the imagery of the logo. They will hold a special meeting next week to review it.
Some in the community believe the mascot is a sense of pride while others find it offensive. “I think by changing it erases our culture our heritage, and we need to be able to speak up about that,” said Elizabeth Mimms-Garger, a Washington County resident.
“What does it to the white kids there, and the non-native kids is it teaches them a false sense of what a native person is. I believe that hurts them and it hurts us,” said John Kane.
The opposition to changing the name has been very vocal. People stood outside the school on Thursday holding up signs reading protect the pride. Elizabeth Mimms-Garger a local Native American believes the mascot speaks volumes about her culture. “I believe the mascot is a sign of courage. It’s a sign of being a fighter and not giving up. It’s important otherwise our culture will be erased,” she said.
John Kane a Mohawk Native American is an activist and hosts the podcast, “Let’s Talk Native.” Last summer, he decided it was time to make a move to retire the mascot. Kane believes the mascot is creating false imagery for younger generations.
“The school essentially is promoting a false stereotype of living breathing people to their kids,” said he.
As soon as a decision is made, we will update you on-air and online.