Opinion: Indian mascots send wrong message to kids
Native American mascots and 'nicknames' are damaging to the self-identity, self-concept and self-esteem of Native American people. The vast majority of Native American Indians oppose the use of their image and names by non-Indian schools and sports teams, as evidenced by the resolutions condemning the use of Native American 'mascots' by the National Congress of American Indians (1998) and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (2001).
These should be sufficient findings about the negative effects of mascots to persuade schools to voluntarily change their mascots. In states where there are large populations of Native Americans, a request is all it has taken for the schools to initiate the change. But Tennessee is different from most other states -- it was purposefully racially cleansed of Native American tribes in the 1800s, making Native American Indian sports 'mascots' in Tennessee a nostalgic irony bordering on insult.