American Indian group celebrates victory
CROCKETT, CALIFORNIA – American indians have to change minds, hearts, and spirits to have a chance in the United States of America. They are patient people and know they have to change the tidal wave of ignorance, misunderstanding and greed that like a tsunami has taken over their paradise.
Such is the case of the John Swett High School that is dropping its “Apache” mascot in northern California town of Crockett. After 90 years, the school board voted this week to drop the Apache mascot.
The name Apache, for a high school football team is offensive to Native people and it has been changed. After years of work and planning started by a caring person, ‘Molly Batchelder’, who saw the name as demeaning to American Indians. She worked and organized to change it. In her own words:
“When I became aware of the pain these Indian mascots were causing so many native people, coming from a high school that maintained an Indian mascot, I felt I had a responsibility to act. I approached members of the Indigenous community and asked for their help. Two weeks later we formed the Carquinez Coalition to Change the Mascot. It took a year of organizing, performing community outreach and arranging meetings with the John Swett administration, but we did it! Last night the board voted unanimously to retire the mascot. Change is not going to be easy for some, but we are human beings, and I believe our purpose on this planet is for growth and transformation. I don’t want to live in the past. I want to be about the future, and our children’s future, to co-create a society based on respect and human dignity.
If you went to a school with an Indian mascot, you have the power to change it, too! Reach out to other people who want to help. Form a coalition. It’s a life changing experience to be part of something so significant.”
Molly originally partnered with Tony Gonzales of AIM-WEST, and the SSP&RIT team led by Wounded Knee DeCampo, along with Corrina Gould and Indian Organization For Change, the ACLU and the American Indian Movement.