With the nickname of the NFL's Washington Redskins coming under fire, the National Congress of American Indians is urging Tulsa Union to change its mascot from “Redskins,” KOTV-6 in Tulsa reports.
The congress is meeting this week and says the team nickname is racist and offensive.
This isn't the first time Tulsa Union has been under fire for its mascot. In 2003, the school board voted unanimously to keep the Redskins name after American Indian and civil rights groups and publications urged the school to change its mascot.
According to the NCAI, 28 high schools have changed their team name from “Redskins.”
Tulsa Union also runs through a tepee before each game, drawing the ire of the congress.
“It is offensive, very offensive,” Muscogee (Creek) National Principal Chief George Tiger said. “The concern is, when your tradition and your culture is being attacked by this controversial mascot issue, then it is important to us”
The NCAI said the nicknames and images depicting them are an attack on a culture.
Tulsa Union issued a statement in response, saying, “Union community members of all races tell us this is not an issue divided strictly on the lines of race. The debate appears to be between some people outside of this district who have a different opinion as to how people inside this school district should believe, feel, and identify themselves. It is those within the Union community that the district serves.
“Definitions need to be in context of time, place and usage. In this day and age, in the Union community, ‘Redskins' is not derogatory; rather it defines a diverse, yet close-knit community that exhibits great pride and spirit in its schools and programs as well as in its determination and traditions of success.”