Minnesota Senate to discuss banning Native American imagery in High School Sports

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 11:09 AM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The Minnesota State Senate is set to discuss a proposed bill that would ban the use of Native American imagery in High School logos and nicknames across the state.

Senate File 584, introduced by Senator Mary Kunesh, would require schools to file written requests to the Tribal Nations Education Committee and the Indian Affairs Council to be given permission to continue using their Nickname and Logo. They could also get permission from all 11 federally recognized Minnesota Tribes.

This bill has raised concern for several Minnesota schools, including the Warroad Warriors:

Head Hockey Coach Jay Hardwick is one of many to express frustration over a possible change to an identity deeply linked to the history of Hockeytown USA.

According to the school, the Warriors name and logo was requested by the Anishinaabe People, who gifted land to found the first school in Warroad.

The current logo was designed by an Indigenous artist and anything that bears the logo that gets sold raises money for Indigenous youth.

The School District has reportedly reached out to the Senate seeking local control of their identity, but as it stands they would need to seek permission from the 11 Tribes to use the name and logo if the bill passes.

In addition to Warroad, some other schools that would have to change their imagery would be Red Lake, Esko, Pipestone, Benson, and Menahga.

SF 584 has not yet been discussed by the Senate.