The fight to get rid of Native American mascots in schools

By Mark Brodie
Published: Monday, July 17, 2023 - 10:24am
Updated: Tuesday, July 18, 2023 - 8:16am

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Across the country, one in 19 secondary schools has a Native American mascot. In Arizona, that number is one in 168.

Lily Joy Winder is an actor, activist and student at Stanford. She's also the leader for the group People Not Mascots, which works on policy to remove Native mascots from K-12 public schools that do not have specific consent from a tribe. People Not Mascots also compiled the data surrounding the number of secondary schools with Native American mascots.

Winder started her work with a TikTok video. She says she was talking about other issues when she started getting direct messages on Instagram from Indigenous kids telling her they didn’t feel safe in their schools because of the imagery of Native mascots. She decided to start a spreadsheet and petitions to remove those mascots and says the petitions came in by the hundreds. That led to the rest of the group’s work.

The Show spoke with Winder about how the effort to get high schools to change mascots that the group labels offensive is going.