HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A provision within the state budget implementer bill being voted on Tuesday will withhold funding to any Connecticut high school with a mascot or team that demeans Connecticut Native American tribes.
At least a dozen Connecticut high schools continue to use Native American names and images, where other high schools have voted to replace them.
Senator Cathy Osten, Senate Chair of the Appropriations Committee, stated:
Towns around this state have been told year after year by Connecticut’s Native American tribes that their nicknames and mascots are horribly offensive.
Some towns have taken the proper steps to change, while others continue to ignore common decency and continue to disrespect our tribal partners who were here long, long before any city or town was ever incorporated…If certain cities and towns won’t listen to their fellow citizens, then they can certainly do without the tribal money that they are showing such disrespect toward.”
Connecticut Native American tribes provide more than $50-million in funding every year to cities and towns, according to state officials. The Mashantucket Pequot/Mohegan Fund distributes grants, varying from thousands to millions of dollars, to almost 169 cities and towns.
Connecticut high schools that have changed their mascots include:
- Farmington High
- Guilford High
- Newington High
- Glastonbury High
- Valley Regional High
- Watertown High School
- Valley Regional High School (8/20)
State Rep. Vin Candelora (R), House Minority Leader, said Tuesday, “Schools will have to change their mascots in a couple of weeks or they’re going to seek financial penalties if they don’t.”