Indian team names at issue in Maine symposium


BANGOR, Maine (AP) — The use of Indian nicknames for sports teams will be the topic of a symposium in Bangor.

The free symposium will feature panels including representatives from Maine’s four Native American tribes, media representatives, school administrators, students and community members.

In April, 2001, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recommended that all non-Native American schools drop their Native American mascots or nicknames. The commission declared that their use encourages biases and prejudices that have a negative effect on contemporary Indian people.

Sponsors say that to date, more than 220 schools, colleges and institutions have eliminated Native American nicknames and mascots.