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Education department: Refrain from Native American mascots

March 2, 2019

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Education Department is urging schools to refrain from using mascots and logos depicting Native Americans.

In a notice sent to schools on Friday, the department asked schools to not use mascots depicting tribes, individuals, customs or traditions.

A handful of Maine schools have continued to use Native American-themed sports mascots. That includes Skowhegan High School, which continues to face backlash and support over its “Indians” mascot.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, several tribal leaders and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine have said Skowhegan’s mascot harms Native Americans. A Portland Democrat and Penobscot Nation Ambassador Maulian Dana are working on legislation to ban Native American mascots in public schools.

The Department of Education said though schools control such local decisions, promoting stereotypes can marginalize people.

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