Learn More About the AHS Mascot Issue

Greater Anderson Promotes Peace (GAPP), whose focus is diversity, respect and inclusion, has supported changing the Anderson High School mascot for over eighteen years. GAPP has researched the concerns of Native American organizations who support the change. Key issues include: such mascots have harmful psychological effects on Native American students; they encourage cultural appropriation of living peoples’ culture and heritage; and they mask a history of injustice to American Indian communities.

GAPP understands that there are strong opinions on both sides of this question and appreciates that those who advocate to keep the mascot do not intend to dishonor or harm Native people. But beyond the intent, the impact of actions must also be examined. Thus, when individuals and organizations say they are offended or harmed, this impact must take priority over intent.

Despite claims by a 2016 Washington Post poll that the majority of Native Americans do not object to this mascot, GAPP believes that better studies and more authoritative research indicate otherwise.

The pending decision from the Forest Hills Board of Education Anderson High School Branding and Mascot Committee will not yield the desired outcome for all parties. Whether the decision is to change or not, many people in the general public will be interested in more information than the soundbites in the news. Below are several links to articles and resources to help community members understand the important reasons for change.

Please contact GAPP via email if you would like further information.

Thank you for your interest. Together we can build a more inclusive and welcoming community.


Resource List:

Time for Change? Schools Wrestle with Native American Nicknames


The Harmful Psychological Effects of Washington’s Redskins Mascot


Ending the Legacy of Racism in Sports & the Era of Harmful “Indian” Sports Mascots: National Congress of American Indians | October 2013

The Real History of Native American Team Names


Intertribal Council of Five Civilized Tribes: A Resolution Supporting Renaming the Washington “Redskins”


Native Americans Speak Out Against Racially Offensive Mascot Name

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