Smoke signals. (Grand Ronde, Or.) 19??-current, April 01, 2017, Page 7, Image 7

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    S moke S ignals
APRIL 1, 2017
7
Board OKs Grand Ronde-Banks mascot agreement
“ODE did a lot of
work to craft a set
SALEM — The Ore-
of guidelines and
gon Board of Education
rules that we could
unanimously approved
ultimately implement
the first Tribal-school dis-
and when I look at
trict agreement that will
this agreement, I
officially allow Banks to
can’t help but wonder
retain its Braves mascot
whether or not this
as it adopts a more cul-
process that was es-
turally acceptable Native
tablished may in fact
American image.
be better than what
The Board of Educa-
would have happened
tion held a first reading
if the schools simply
on the memorandum of
had banned the im-
understanding struck be-
ages because what
tween the Confederated
you had to do to fulfill
Tribes of Grand Ronde
the spirit and require-
and Banks School District
ments of these rules
on Thursday, Feb. 23,
was extraordinary.
during its meeting held
“I can only imagine
Photo by Michelle Alaimo
in Eugene and approved
the kind of learning
Tribal Council Chairman Reyn Leno testifies during the Oregon Board of Education meeting held
it during its Thursday,
that has already tak-
March 23, hearing held in Salem on Thursday, March 23. During the meeting, the board approved the first Tribal-school
en place at that dis-
district mascot agreement that allows the Banks School District to keep its Braves mascot, but to
in Salem.
trict and the Tribe. …
During the Salem hear- use more culturally acceptable Native American imagery. Also at the table with him are Cindy Hunt,
It is humbling to see
middle,
Department
of
Education
Government
and
Legal
Affairs
manager,
and
Banks
School
District
ing, Department of Edu-
the effects of this in
cation Government and Superintendent Jeff Leo.
terms of what it might
Legal Affairs Manager
mean for the students
Cindy Hunt reiterated that Depart-
in the Banks School District.
tion of Native American symbolism
nine federally recognized Tribes in
ment of Education staff members
“I know we are going to be facing
and pride,” Leno said during his
Oregon to create more culturally
had no concerns regarding the
other
requests and all I can say is
testimony
before
the
board.
appropriate images.
agreement.
that the bar to me has been set re-
“The Tribe and district were able
Banks’ new image – inverse Bs in
Tribal Council Chairman Reyn
ally, really high in terms of the kind
to reach an agreement on a mascot
the shape of an arrowhead replac-
Leno, Tribal Council Secretary Jon
of work that we can hope for for
that is appropriate, has commu-
ing a profile of a Native American
A. George, Tribal Council member
districts and their Tribal partners.”
nity support and is significant to
Brave – was first presented to the
Tonya Gleason-Shepek, Tribal
Banks, which is west of Portland
the Tribe. The Tribe has been im-
Grand Ronde Tribal Council on Nov.
Attorney Rob Greene and Tribal
off
of Highway 26, is within the tra-
pressed
by
the
district’s
willingness
14. Nike marketing and graphics
lobbyist Justin Martin attended
ditional
homelands of the Tualatin
to
collaborate
to
have
a
mascot
employees worked with Cultural Re-
the hearing, as did Banks School
Kalapuya, one of the myriad Tribes
image designed that respects Tribal
sources Department Manager David
District Superintendent Jeff Leo
and bands that were forced to move
culture and the community’s needs.
Harrelson and school district repre-
and three Banks School Board
to the Grand Ronde Reservation
“Grand Ronde encourages you
sentatives to craft the new image.
members.
in the 1850s and confederate after
to approve this agreement so that
The new image will gradually
The Banks School District and
signing treaties with the federal
we can truly make a difference for
replace the old stereotypical image
Grand Ronde Tribe have been
government.
the
benefit
of
Native
people
and
all
over a five-year period on uni-
working together since 2015 on
Leo testified that the Banks
Oregonians.”
forms, buildings, merchandising
the mascot issue after the Board
School District has already re-
The agreement also requires the
and school district stationery.
of Education was forced to amend
moved its old mascot image from
Banks School District to adopt the
“Throughout this process, it has
its blanket ban on Native American
the gym floor, scoreboard and walls,
Grand Ronde Tribe’s fourth- and
been the Tribe’s goal to build re-
mascots in public schools. The Ore-
and ordered sports uniforms that do
eighth-grade Native American
spect and understanding of the
gon Legislature mandated in 2014
not have imagery on them, among
history
curriculums
and
establish
Tribe’s history and culture, to give
that school districts be allowed to
other efforts.
a
Native
Club
at
its
schools.
Leo
all youth the opportunity to learn
retain their Native American mas-
“I think this is a win for every-
said that approximately 3 percent
the Tribe’s curriculum, and to foster
cots if they work with one of the
body,” Leno said. “I think there
of Banks’ 1,100 students identify as
a culturally respectful representa-
were people who truly believed, and
Native American.
we respect that, that they didn’t
“This is very important to the
want these images used. There
Tribe because it will help to combat
were people like us who believed
stereotypes,” Leno said. “The history
we could work on the history and
of our peoples, who have lived in
education side of it, but at the end
Oregon since time immemorial, is
of the day we were both all work-
significant for all Oregonians and is
ing to get rid of the bad imagery
usually ignored or poorly described
that was out there, and this type
in our schools. We appreciate the
of agreement helped that happen.”
opportunity to work with the school
Public school districts that do not
district to educate more Oregonians
enter
into an approved agreement
about the histories, societies and
Hosted by the Oregon Indian Tribe of …
with an Oregon Tribe before July
cultures of Oregon’s Native peoples.”
The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde
1 will be required to change their
Board Chairman Dr. Charles Mar-
mascot. So far, only the Marcola
tinez Jr. said the negotiations that
Other Oregon partnering Tribes include:
Coquille Indian Tribe ~ Confederated Tribe of Siletz Indians ~ The Klamath Tribes ~
School District northeast of Eugene
the Grand Ronde Tribe and Banks
Burns Paiute ~ Tribe Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs ~
has officially announced that it is
School District went through to craft
Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians ~ Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
abandoning its Native American
an
agreement
have
set
a
high
bar
for
The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians
mascot and nickname.
future agreements that will come
Hunt said that the Department
before the board for approval.
April 19-20, 2017
of Education is expecting approxi-
“This issue has been a ‘big’ issue,”
mately seven more Native mascot
Martinez said. “The board has been
Grand Ronde, Oregon at
agreements to come before the
dealing with this issue since 2012,
Spirit Mountain Casino
board in the next several months.
and at least a year before that there
During the same meeting, the
was analysis around this issue.
Board of Education held a first
Here we are, more than five years
Come and join other caregivers of native elders and relative caregivers of children from
Northwest Indian communities in this two-day event. You will have the opportunity to
reading for the agreement between
later. It has caused grief, pain,
attend valuable workshops that will enhance your caregiving skills and provide you with a
the Grand Ronde Tribe and Scap-
stress
…
I
have
had
a
1,000
differ-
break from your daily responsibilities.
poose School District, which is seek-
ent emotions about this along the
ing to retain its Indians mascot.
way. When the Legislature adopted
For more information, contact Darlene Aaron darlene.aaron@grandronde.org 503-879-2078
Grand Ronde is also working with
the notion of an exemption, it was
the Molalla River School District
a crack in the armor of the board
VENDORS- To register, please contact Suzy Deeds at 503-304-3429
regarding its Indians mascot. n
that was very distressing.
By Dean Rhodes
Smoke Signals editor
SAVE THE DATE