Published January 18, 2017
PAW PAW, MICHIGAN – Paw Paw Schools, which prides themselves as “home of the Redsk*ns,” told organizers of a group of American Indians that they cannot use a drum or light a smudge stick on or near school property. Organizers are going to be at the Paw Paw Board of Education tonight to voice their opposition of the school system’s continued usage of Redsk*n name and its misrepresented Sioux logo.
Organizers were told the drum is too noisy and the usage of fire to light a smudge stick is against school policy. The school system read on social media the group was going to have a ceremony outside the Paw Paw High School where the Paw Paw Board of Education will hear public comment on the mascot issue in a roundtable meeting at 7:00 p.m. – Eastern Time. Native News Online will be present.
One of the organizers posted this message on her Facebook page earlier Wednesday:
“The school we are planning resistance at tonight has told us we cannot hold ceremony using traditional medicine, and including having a drum, because it is too noisy and violates school policy. They have told us they will have us charged with trespassing. On public property.
This is how asinine ‘honoring Natives’ through a mascot is when compared with actual treatment of Natives. No ceremony, marginalization, bringing in of outside, non-state-inhabiting nations, and being able to sell and distribute offensive gear while asking Native people to sit and take it, politely. The tobacco won’t be smoked, but presented as an offering. The sage is lit for the smoke, but since lighting it involves fire it is not allowed.
Reflecting on resistance and it’s necessity. And how when people get fed up with discrimination, they push back.”
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