Two local Native American speakers called for more education during their presentation at the third community event in the ongoing review of the Turners Falls High School’s mascot, currently the “Indians.” Chief Cheryll Toney Holley of the Hassanamesit Nipmuc Nation and Dr. Lisa Brooks, Amherst College professor and Abenaki, touched on a wide range of concerns, including the impact of Native imagery in mascots on Native American students. The school board is currently debating whether to keep the mascot.
Both speakers come from local Native American tribes and touched on the main arguments in the current Turners Falls debate, including the research and studies that show Native American mascots can have a negative impact on Native students.
“A lot of people are saying that you have this mascot to honor us,” Toney Holley said. “It does not honor us in any way.”
Full report by Miranda Davis in the Greenfield Recorder.