By Jisoo Seo
The National Post published an article today that explores the history of the misappropriation of indigenous mascots by professional sports teams.
- From Indians to Redskins: Fight to wipe Native caricatures from pro sports hinges on law, money and courage
Here are some other articles that have been written about this topic:
- The growing movement to boycott indigenous team mascots
- Cleveland Indians: Indigenous mascots are nothing to cheer about
If the pros won’t do it, we will
A local Canadian minor baseball team has already taken action to change its name. The Alvinston, Ontario team held a GoFundMe campaign and successfully raised enough awareness and money to “start a new tradition” with a new team name and logo.
“Respect for each other, respect for opponents and respect for every community we visit is a far more important tradition than any name or logo,” the team says in this CBC article.
The Robertson Program applauds the efforts of everyone involved in changing the Alvinston team mascot. We hope others follow their lead.
There is potential for some great math lessons to be developed around the cost of changing logos and mascots. Using math to explore issues of social justice provides a great entry point into math for students and allows them to see math as an awareness-raising tool. Please have a look at the Alvinston GoFundMe campaign for a complete list of the costs needed to change the logos and mascots. Please send us your lessons to be posted on our website!
*Many thanks to educator Mohini Athia, who first introduced us to the idea of mathematizing this social justice issue during the Robertson Program’s 2013 Spring Institute.