(1-9-20) Two petitions are now on change.org, both concern the mascot, the ‘Indians’, at Hononegah (Illinois) High School.
Below are the two petitions –
The Indian mascot is not a misrepresentation of their people and their culture. It’s more of an homage to the colorful history of this town we live in and deserves to be kept that way. Any other interpretation of the Indian mascot is misconceived.
One person for the keeping the mascot said –
I dreamed of being princess hononegah when I was a kid and attended my older siblings sports. I went home chanting the cheers and bouncing around. She was and is idolized by me and a lot of the people I know that grew up here. She never was mocked or laughed at but praised and she brought inspiration we tried to become.
Changing the name is ridiculous the entire town is based off Steve MAC & Princess Hononegahs story and history. From down town to inside the bank to inside the schools and middle schools to the plaques at the forest preserve there is education about their life together all over this town. It made this town.
I’ve seen a lot of comments about “white blond girls bouncing around in the outfit” first off those “white blonde girls” are the leaders of their squad they worked hard to get that position and to be the talent they have and are. There is not excluding another race from being the princess hononegah symbol because THEY BUSTED THEIR XXXXX TO GET THAT TITLE. They honor it and take pride in it.
Change doesn’t take away the spirit we carry with us that MAKES this town. History is called history for a reason.
Despite the recent demands of hundreds of Native tribes across the nation to remove dehumanizing Native mascots from sports and schools, Hononegah continues to use the image a Native man to represent our school under the banner of the “Hononegah Indians”. Princess Hononegah, a non Native student dressing in Native attire, appears at every sporting event along with cheers of “U RAH RAH”, both of which perpetuate racist stereotypes surrounding Native people. Regardless of our school’s original intention of honoring Native history–something supposedly accomplished with Native iconography not even historically accurate to our region–the students and community in Rockton need to come together to address this antiquated representation of school spirit. Removal of such mascots has already been called for by our national government almost two decades ago: according to a 2001 statement by the US Commission on Civil Rights “Schools have a responsibility to educate their students; they should not use their influence to perpetuate misrepresentations of any culture or people…[and these mascots] block genuine understanding of contemporary Native people as fellow Americans…The elimination of stereotypes will make room for education about real Indian people, current Native American issues, and the rich variety of American Indian cultures in our country.” By advocating for the removal of this mascot Hononegah can take steps towards achieving its own mission statement: “to create a safe and inspiring atmosphere where students become thoughtful scholars, responsible citizens, and effective leaders.”
I’m signing because it’s time for Hononegah to finally change not only the name but images and songs that continue to perpetuate racist stereotypes. In HHS English class in grade 10-ish, we had to write a paper on whether the use of Native American names in sports teams and schools was offensive or okay (picking a side and defending it). I feel almost shameful looking back on this. Hundreds of Native tribes across America have denounced this use of their culture and have spoken about how it is dehumanizing. This is the one perspective that matters really. Native Americans are the ones affected – we should hold a higher respect and stand in solidarity with them.
In May, Maine became the first U.S. state to outlaw Native American mascots and other imagery in its public high schools.