There are 25 - 30 schools in Massachusetts that currently use Native American mascots. These mascots reinforce racist and dehumanizing stereotypes. Exposure to such mascots has been shown to have negative psychological impacts on Native students, including lowered self-esteem and lowered ambition.
Over 50% of Native high school students enrolled in the Boston Public School system do not graduate with their class, and 27% ultimately drop out. This is much higher than the rates for BPS students generally - 41% and 20%, respectively. Massachusetts schools are already woefully underfunded, and Native students face numerous additional barriers to academic success and opportunities that are not being addressed through legislation.
Replaces Columbus Day with Indigenous People's Day in Massachusetts Law
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
Creates a permanent commission to improve educational outcomes and opportunities for Native students, in particular preparing them for higher education
Promotes tribal self-determination by giving Native youth the opportunity to learn about their heritage and language
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MA Indigenous Legislative Agenda