A new bill in the Minnesota House of Representatives would ban the use of Native American images and culture for use of school sports.
The bill, which is authored by Rep. Kunesh-Podein and 8 other Democrat Representatives, would prohibit school districts and colleges from using Native American imagery for logos, mascots, etc. Schools would be allowed to use such items if permitted by the Tribal Nations Education Committee and the Indian Affairs Council. School districts such as the Red Lake school district are an example.
Charter schools would also be forced to comply with the same rules. “A charter school must comply with the prohibition on American Indian mascots under section 123B.493. A charter school may seek an exemption under section 123B.493, paragraph (b),” according to the bill. The bill has been referred to the Senate’s Education Policy Committee.
The Senate companion bill is authored by Democrat Senators John Marty, Patricia Torres Ray, and Carolyn Laine. The Senate version has been sent to the E-12 Finance and Policy committee.