Ban Native American Mascots

An Act Prohibiting the Use of Native American Mascots by Public Schools in the Commonwealth - H.477 - S.245

  • Prohibits the use of Native American mascots in public schools

  • Allows the board of elementary and secondary education to establish deadlines by which school districts need to choose a new name, logo, and mascot

Since the early twentieth century, Native American mascots, logos, and symbols have reinforced stereotypes against Indigenous people in the United States. The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has fought to end harmful representation of Indigenous culture for over 50 years.

Over 40 High Schools in Massachusetts continue to appropriate Indigenous culture through the use of racist mascots. “We don’t feel like we are being honored by any mascots. We feel like a trophy,” Brittney Walley, a member of the Nipmuc Nation, said in a recent speech in support of the mascot ban. Native American mascots are known to be socially and emotionally damaging to indigenous youth, who have a suicide rate three times higher than their peers. In addition to lowering self esteem of Indigenous students, these stereotypical depictions of Native Americans reinforce racist beliefs and attitudes in their non-Native peers.

In order to provide a safe environment where Indigenous students can thrive, Massachusetts must end the practice of Native American logos and mascots.

To learn more, read the bill fact sheet, and this study on the psychosocial effects of Native American mascots.

Email your rep

the decision makers

Joint Committee on Education

Who on committee has co-sponsored:

state senators:

Jason Lewisgreen check
Jason Lewis (D)
Winchester

chair

Sal DiDomenicogreen check
Sal DiDomenico (D)
Everett

chair

Patricia Jehlengreen check
Patricia Jehlen (D)
Somerville
Patrick O'Connorred x
Patrick O'Connor (R)
Weymouth
Robyn Kennedyred x
Robyn Kennedy (D)
Worcester
Rebecca Rauschgreen check
Rebecca Rausch (D)
Needham

state representatives:

Denise Garlickred x
Denise Garlick (D)
Needham

chair

Steven Ultrinored x
Steven Ultrino (D)
Malden

chair

Vanna Howardgreen check
Vanna Howard (D)
Smitty Pignatellired x
Smitty Pignatelli (D)
Lee
Kate Donaghuered x
Kate Donaghue (D)
Westborough
Andres Vargasred x
Andres Vargas (D)
Haverhill
Dan Senagreen check
Dan Sena (D)
Christopher Worrellgreen check
Christopher Worrell (D)
Boston
Joseph McGonaglered x
Joseph McGonagle (D)
Everett
Kimberly Fergusonred x
Kimberly Ferguson (R)
Holden
Kelly Peasered x
Kelly Pease (R)

Who has co-sponsored:

History of the bill

2024

Feb 2023

Referred to the Joint Committee on Education

Jan 2023

Bill re-introduced as H.477

Jan 2023

No further action taken by Senate Ways and Means

2023

Jul 2021

Reported favorably and referred to Senate Ways and Means Committee

Mar 2021

Referred committee on Education

Jan 2021

Refiled

Jan 2021

Let die in Senate Ways and Means

2021

Mar 2020

Reported favorably and referred to Senate Ways and Means Committee

2020

Jan 2019

Sent to Education Committee

Jan 2019

Introduced

2019

Advocacy Organizations

Massachusetts Indigenous Legislative Agenda
NASW-MA