Maine West HS mascot

At the end of March, Illinois high school Maine West featured a ‘passing of the warbonnet’ type ceremony with one student giving the next a pale blue faux Plains style headdress. #NativeTwitter was quick on it and very soon after, some of the high school’s Twitter accounts either blocked Native and ally accounts or went private. An interesting maneuver for a public high school.

Maine West insinuated that the Cherokee Nation had given their blessing. Not to be thrown under the bus, the Cherokee Nation responded via Twitter pretty swiftly.

Quick shout out to the person running the Cherokee Nation Twitter!

The outpouring of voices in social media prompted a number of stories from the Chicago Tribune (If you need the aggravation of viewing the ‘passing of the headdress’, the video is in the Chicago Tribune piece):

The Daily Herald

The Des Plaines Patch

and a spot on the local WGN network.

Interestingly, in the WGN piece, the school said in a statement, “Maine West and Maine Township High School District 207 represent an extremely diverse community, and we take pride in our cultural diversity. We realize and understand that the conversation and perception of Native American mascots has shifted and evolved in recent years. It is neither Maine West’s intent nor wish to offend, and we want to ensure that our practices do not detract…” Which sounds more like a deflection rather than a serious look at evaluating their mascot choices. Will they do the right thing and retire this horrible mascot? Time will tell. We will update when more info becomes available!

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