Will Kamiakin Have to Change From Braves Mascot? KSD Issues Statement
The bill was sponsored by a Democratic House Rep who has not sponsored any significant legislation during their tenure in the Washington State House of Representatives.
However, during the most recent legislative session, the Democrat majority approved Substitute House Bill 1356 along with its Senate companion. It was signed into law by Gov. Inslee.
The bill prohibits the use of Native American mascots by public schools, effective January 1, 2022. The only exceptions are if the school(s) is located on tribal land, or within a certain distance of tribal lands, or if the school-district has a previous agreement or permission from the appropriate tribe to use the name.
Monday, the Kennewick School District issued a statement that read in part:
"In late spring 2021, the District reached out to the Yakama, Umatilla, and Colville tribes for consultation. District and school administration recently met with the Director of Curriculum from the Umatilla Tribe to discuss tribal curriculum. In addition, District and school administration recently met with the Yakama Tribal Council to present information on District curriculum implementation and to show the “Braves” and “Thunderbirds” mascots, logos, and imagery in use at Kamiakin and Legacy high schools."
There has been extensive discussion, but as of Monday, Oct. 18th, KSD has not formally heard one way or the other, so they issued this statement:
"... in order to meet the legislative timeline and ensure compliance with the law, the District will begin formal processes in early November for re-naming the mascots so we have contingency plans in place should authorization not be provided. Input processes will occur in the month of November and new mascots will be presented to the School Board in December. If authorization to continue to use the mascots is received prior to December 31, 2021, the mascots will remain in place."
Kamiakin High School was named after the famous Yakama Indian Tribe Chief, and according to reports, the tribe was consulted prior to the naming of the school when it opened in 1970.
For more information, here is link to KSD website, where updates will be released.
Speaking of the distinctive scarlet and gold, here are some other uniforms through sports history.
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