Nezperce retires ‘Indians’ mascot

Another Idaho high school has retired a mascot with Native American connotations.

Nezperce School District trustees voted Monday to drop the high school’s “Indians” mascot. Justyna Tomtas of the Lewiston Tribune reported Wednesday on the board’s 3-2 vote, which ended a six-year debate over the mascot.

“It is hard to change a mascot, and we don’t take it lightly,” Superintendent Shawn Tiegs said. “After months of perhaps tension and stress, we can move on and have fun in this new process.”

School administrators, trustees and the community worked on the nickname change issue for more than a year, Tiegs said Friday.

Tiegs will sit on a committee that will work on a replacement mascot, along with some trustees, students, parents and community members, Tomtas reported. The committee will present suggestions to trustees in September, Tomtas reported.

Nezperce is at least the third Idaho high school to retire a Native American-themed mascot in the past year. Teton High School dropped its “Redskins” nickname last summer, and will now be known as the Timberwolves. Boise High School has changed its nickname from “Braves” to “Brave,” after a unanimous school board vote in August.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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