Saint Joseph High School dropping "Indians" nickname
Like many other professional sports teams and schools, Saint Joseph High School in South Bend made an announcement Tuesday: It will no longer use the nickname “Indians.”
The news comes about three months after the school formed a 13-member committee to decide whether to keep the name. The committee brought together a mix of alumni, faculty and staff, parents and students.
The school explained the decision in a letter to students and alumni released Tuesday.
It states, in part, “Through this process, we have learned that the Indians nickname does not honor our local Native American tribe.”
In professional sports, Washington’s football team has changed its nickname from “Redskins” to Commanders, and Cleveland’s baseball team, formerly the Indians, is now the Guardians. Goshen High School has changed from the Redskins to the RedHawks.
The Tribal Council of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians has said it opposes Native American nicknames for sports teams. In January the nickname committee invited tribal leaders to a meeting where they told the school, according to the school’s website, “We are people. We are not mascots.”
Saint Joseph High School says it will conduct a public search for a new nickname this fall.