Puyallup Tribe Response to Substitute House Bill 1356
Numerous studies have been conducted over the years evaluating the impacts of Native mascots on
Native youth. Findings from four studies by Tulalip scholar Stephanie Fryberg “concluded that mascots, regardless of type, and regardless of whether they are perceived positively by Native youth, are harmful to the psychological well-being of these youth” (Davis-Delano et. al 2020). With approximately 2,000 teams in the US using Native mascots, the Puyallup Tribe supports the recent passage of Washington
State H.B. 1356, which prohibits the use of Native American names, symbols, or images as public school mascots, logos, or team names.
In recognition of the harmful and lasting impacts of stereotypical and disrespectful Native mascots and imagery on Native youth, the following Tribal departments have developed a response on the use of Native American names, symbols, and images:
- Historic Preservation
There are 12 school districts within the Puyallup Tribe’s homeland that are required to engage in meaningful consultation with the Tribe, as defined by the OSPI Office of Native Education. Districts are expected to compile a list of current school mascots, logos, and team names that use Native American names, symbols, or images. The Tribe expects our school district partners to do their due diligence in researching current mascots, logos, and team names and making their best effort to address any inappropriate use of Native American names, symbols, or images prior to contacting the Puyallup Tribe for input and consultation.
Once compiled, school districts must submit the list along with a written request for consultation regarding school mascots, logos, and team names to the Tribe. The above listed departments will then provide input and suggestions. Input and suggestions may include suggestions for more respectful use of Native American names or imagery. Input and suggestions may also result in a request from the Tribe to retire certain Native American names or imagery.
The Tribe is not responsible for providing funding to retire school mascots, logos, or team names, or for providing funding for new mascots, logos, or team names.
The Tribe is not responsible for choosing new mascots, logos, or team names, but may provide input or suggestions, if staff capacity allows.
Some examples of school names and mascots that the Tribe finds disrespectful, harmful, and stereotypical are (this list is not exhaustive):
- Fictional Native American person/faces
- Use of Lushootseed or Native America language without consultation with appropriate tribal language department (use of Lushootseed must be approved by Puyallup Language Dept.)
- Depiction of Native American-style art by a non-Native artist