Race based mascot bill heads to governor

 Senate Bill 25, the race-based mascot, logo and nickname bill, passed the Assembly in a final  53-45 vote on Tuesday night, April 20, and will go to Gov. Jim Doyle to be signed into law. The bill provides a means of resolving discrimination complaints based on the use of race-based 'Indian" logos, mascots and team names through a form of mediation provided by the Department of Public Instruction.

The bill's success was the result of a years-long effort by Wisconsin's native American citizens and their allies, led by the Wisconsin Indian Education Association Indian Mascot and Logo Task Force, headed by WNPJ Board member Barb Munson.

The bill passed the State Senate on Tuesday, April 13, by a 17-16  vote. 

Direct appeal to the DPI and 45 day time limits for the process are intended to lessen pressure on complainants and divisiveness in the communities in which they reside. The bill does not apply to school district names (Blackhawk School District) or to town names (Mosinee, Seneca), but only to actual school team designations.

The bill will continue to allow districts with ambiguous names, such as "Raiders," "Warriors," or "Blackhawks," to make simple changes to their imagery without losing their nicknames. (From 'Indian' imagery to pirates, foxes, ancient warriors, or birds.) The bill will not automatically mandate change to any district's team name or mascot. A community with native and non-native people who are satisfied with their logo, mascot, or team name would not generate any complaints, and would be outside the scope of this legislation.

For more information, contact:  Barbara Munson <Barb@Munson.net>