One of the long-standing questions among Native Americans and non-Native Americans alike has been whether or not these members of society are or should be hurt and disgusted with the fact that many American sports teams have Native American Indians as their mascots. Do they care? If so, who exactly cares in their communities? Native American youth might answer differently than elders in these communities. Those who live on reservations might feel differently than those who choose to live off the reservations or those who are only a small percentage Native American.

 

Similarly, if you asked someone on the street who was not Native American, you might get a variety of answers as well. In short, the jury is out on this question, but one thing is sure. It’s certainly a question worth asking.

 

If you look at any sports team that has an Indian as their mascot, you’ll see quite clearly why someone might possibly be offended. In true American style, members of the crowd dress as the mascot without shirts and with gaudy headdresses on. They paint their chests and their faces, but it’s not ceremonial. It’s for an athletic event.

 

In 1997, a PBS documentary examined the idea of Native American themed mascots. The documentary was called “In Whose Honor,” and it was produced and directed by a man named Jay Rosenstein.

 

In a recent article, Jay explains that he still doesn’t truly know what sports teams should do or how Native Americans truly feel as a whole.

 

Categories: Indian, Native American Themed Mascots