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CNAY’s Official Position on Derogatory and Racial Mascots and Logos

Call for Change: Derogatory and Racial Mascots and Logos

The Center for Native American Youth at The Aspen Institute has a mission, as an education and advocacy organization, to improve the health, safety, and overall well-being of Native American youth.

The Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) opposes and calls for a change of all mascots and logos that amplify derogatory and racial misappropriated terms regarding the Native American population. The use of these terms and logos perpetuates the systematic racism within our country. They represent inaccurate depictions of the Native American population and promote cultural appropriation.

The Non-Native rationale of utilizing racial slurs as mascots and logos is unacceptable. It is disrespectful and disheartening. The racial logos and mascots have created social stigmas that detrimentally impact the health and wellbeing of Native American youth. These logos and mascots erect intergenerational traumas rooted in the forced assimilation of the population.

Since first contact, the Native American population has fought to live, to walk on their homelands, and to preserve their way of life. Through centuries of injustice, the population continues to live and draw strength from their culture and identity. The Native American population is resilient and deserving of respect and honor. Race based mascots and logos do not honor the strong cultures of Native Americans.

CNAY’s call for change is simple: that all educational institutions and sports teams establish policy that prohibits derogatory mascots, logos, and cultural appropriation. CNAY encourages all institutions and sports team to educate their communities on the true history and resiliency of the Native American population.

Together, we can create an equitable society that honors, values and respects everyone.

In Resilience,
The Center for Native American Youth

To download statement, click here.