June 13, 2018: The Wells-Ogunquit Community School District board votes unanimously to discontinue the use of Native American imagery for school logos.

They vote to keep the “Warriors” nickname, but the Indian head image in use at the schools is dropped.

The decision ends a seven-month study of the matter, during which those who found the imagery offensive were at odds with those who defended it as a cherished school tradition.

The issue came up for discussion because Amelia Tuplin, a Micmac Indian from Lisbon, complained that use of the Indian image, along with fan behavior at an Oct. 13, 2017, Wells High School football game, insulted Native American culture.

Coming after similar decisions over an 18-year period in Scarborough, Old Town, Wiscasset and Sanford, the Wells-Ogunquit change left Skowhegan-based School Administrative District 54 as the last in Maine to use such images to represent schools and sports teams. That district’s board follows suit on March 7, 2019, after years of controversy, voting to shed its “Indians” nickname and associated imagery.

Presented by:

Joseph Owen is an author, retired newspaper editor and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. Owen’s book, “This Day in Maine,” can be ordered at islandportpress.com. To get a signed copy use promo code signedbyjoe at checkout. Joe can be contacted at: jowen@mainetoday.com.

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