ROCKTON, Ill. (WTVO) — A petition seeking the removal of of the Hononegah Indian mascot has gained more than 500 signatures.
According to a Change.org petition started by “Hononegah SDS”, the movement seeks to remove both the Native American mascot, Princess Hononegah, and the “Hononegah Indians” team designation “which perpetuate racist stereotypes surrounding Native people.”
“Regardless of our school’s original intention of honoring Native history–something supposedly accomplished with Native iconography not even historically accurate to our region–the students and community in Rockton need to come together to address this antiquated representation of school spirit. Removal of such mascots has already been called for by our national government almost two decades ago,” the petition reads.
In response, a second Change.org petition to “Keep the Indian”, started by Caleb Hudson, has amassed more than 1,400 signatures.
“The Indian mascot is not a misrepresentation of their people and their culture. It’s more of an homage to the colorful history of this town we live in and deserves to be kept that way. Any other interpretation of the Indian mascot is misconceived,” the petition says.
Supporter Cruz Marquis said in a comment, “Half my ancestry is Mohawk Indian and I’ve never considered the HCHS Indian symbolism to be racist or anything like that. I appreciated it as innocent praise and never saw malice in it. The fact that I graduated from HCHS last year makes any motion to remove it no less sickening.”
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