Cherokee Nation chief says ignorance behind use of Indian mascots

Tuesday, August 19th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Tulsa-AP) -- Cherokee Chief Chad Smith says the use of Indian mascots for sports teams treats tribal members as second-class citizens.

Smith told a meeting of The Associated Press-Oklahoma News Executives board that such mascots continue to be used out of ignorance.

He welcomed decisions by some news organizations to avoid using mascot names that American Indians find offensive when referring to sports teams.

Union Public Schools' use of its ``Redskins'' mascot has been called into question by Indian groups. Fifteen other Oklahoma schools use the team name and hundreds use other Indian names for mascots.

Smith says the term "Redskin'' refers to a scalp sold for a bounty.

He suggests teams with Indian mascot names change them.