Indians mascot

Mills Signs Bill To Make Maine The First State To Ban Native American School Mascots

May 17, 2019
Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Gov. Janet Mills on Thursday signed into law a controversial bill banning the use of Native American mascots in all state public schools. When the bill takes effect later this year, Maine will become the first U.S. state with such a ban.

The Maine Senate approved legislation on Tuesday to ban the use of Native American names, imagery and mascots in public schools and at public colleges and universities.

The heated debate over the use of Native American names, symbols and images in Maine schools has moved to the floor of the state Legislature.

Jennifer Mitchell / Maine Public

After years of contentious debate, votes, policy reversals, and almost 100 years of tradition, Skowhegan High School will no longer be allowed to use the name "Indians" as its mascot.

Jennifer Mitchell/ Maine Public

The controversy over Skowhegan High School's use of the name "Indians" continued Thursday night as both sides presented what might be their last chance for public testimony before the MSAD 54 school board takes action.

Jay Field / For Maine Public

The tribal ambassador of the Penobscot Nation says she and others will keep up the pressure to retire Skowhegan High School's "Indians" mascot, despite attempts to let an "outside" group influence the issue.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

School officials in Skowhegan heard from dozens of local residents, students, and tribal members Tuesday night about whether to retire the high school’s Indians mascot. While several other districts have retired and replaced Native American mascots in recent years, Skowhegan High School is the only school in the state that still uses the name.

SKOWHEGAN, Maine - The new Democratic governor of Maine weighed in on an ongoing debate in Skowhegan over the school district's "Indians'' nickname for its sports teams.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

The school board representing MSAD 54 narrowly approved a motion Thursday night to hold a public forum in January to consider ending the use of Skowhegan High School's Indians mascot.