(7-25-20) A group of Wapakoneta alumni and residents are expected to speak to the Wapakoneta City Schools Board of Education about dropping the ‘Redskins’ as the school’s mascot. The monthly board meeting is scheduled for (July 28th) Tuesday. The meeting is at the Administration Office located at 1102 Gardenia Drive at 7 p.m.
- Why The Uproar About The ‘Redskins’ Mascot?
- Change the Name – Demand Wapakoneta Schools to Change Mascot
Michelle Bellman, a 2015 Wapakoneta graduate, in a Lima News story, said that they have more than 2,000 signatures on a petition supporting a change-.
“I wasn’t expecting this big of a reach nationwide but I kind of wasn’t thinking how powerful social media could be until we got all this support. I wasn’t aware how many different types of people would be supporting the name change. It makes me feel good because I think we are on the right side of history. We have people of all ages and people with all different types of jobs and professions. We have young people. We have old people, and we have people who have a direct connection to Wapak who want to change the name whether they taught here, grew up here. We all care about Wapak in some way.”
Besides the petition, the Lima News story said, Bellman has letters of support for the change from the Lake Erie Native American Council and the National Congress of American Indians and the living descendants of Chief Black Hoof (the leader of the Shawnee tribe who died right before it was forcibly removed from Wapakoneta), and Ben Barnes, Chief of the Shawnee tribe.
There is also a petition is support of keeping the mascot, over 1,250 have signed it.
The Wapakoneta City Schools web site does not have Tuesday night’s BOE agenda posted.
Opposed to the British in the French and Indian conflict and the Americans during the Revolution and the Ohio Valley border wars of the post Revolutionary period, he became a strong supporter of the American government after signing the First Treaty of Greenville in 1795. Traveling to meet with President Thomas Jefferson in 1802, he sought United States support for setting up three Shawnee reservations in Ohio, recognition of the Shawnee as U.S. citizens, and conversion of the tribe to a farming lifestyle. He received assurances that the Shawnee would be allowed to remain in their Ohio homeland “So long as the rivers flow and the grass grows.”
A fit and active warrior past the age of 90, he was opposed to the policies of Tecumseh and the Prophet, and focused instead on removing his people from conflict during the War of 1812. At the signing of the Second Treaty of Greenville in 1814, he voiced support for the American cause and offered the services of his warriors as spies (scouts) and if necessary, to defend the American settlements in Ohio from an invasion by Crown forces. The majority of the Shawnee followed his lead as primary chief of the nation.
The success of the Shawnee in becoming citizen farmers of Ohio under the leadership of Black Hoof continued until the repressive policies of the Andrew Jackson administration resulted in removal of all the remaining Native tribes from the state. After ensuring the orderly transfer of his people to Kansas territory during 1828 – 1831, Black Hoof returned to his cabin near Wapakoneta, Ohio, where he passed away at the age of 111 (some he was 109). His final resting place is in the Black Hoof Memorial Cemetery in St. Johns, Ohio. There is a monument at the corner of St. Rt 65 and US Rt. 33 in St. Johns, 4 miles east of Wapakoneta, Ohio.
The Kansas Land Act resulted in removal of Native Peoples from Kansas in 1860.Black Hoof stayed in Wapakoneta and died there just three months after his people moved west.The Shawnee Nation of three federally recognized tribes, The Absentee Shawnee, The Eastern Shawnee and The Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, now resides in the state of Oklahoma.