Skowhegan, Maine

NAACP asks school to drop Indian sports imagery, nickname

Pressure is building on Skowhegan High School in Maine to drop its Indian sports nickname and mascot. The president of the Greater Bangor Area NAACP has asked school officials to stop using the name “Indians” and the image in its logo. In a letter dated Friday, accompanied by a petition, NAACP president Michael Alpert wrote: ‘‘The implications of cultural violence embedded in Skowhegan High School’s nickname and mascot are deeply offensive to native people.’’ The NAACP is supporting efforts already under way by a former chief of the Penobscot Nation. Several other Maine high schools have dropped Indian-themed mascots or names in recent years. Superintendent Brent Colbry and principal Monique Poulin told the Morning Sentinel they are willing to listen to concerns, but said changing the nickname is a community decision.