Pocatello-Chubbuck to consider dropping Indians mascot

Another long-running American Indian-themed mascot could be history in the coming weeks.

Pocatello High School Indians mascot

The Pocatello-Chubbuck School Board will consider retiring Pocatello High School’s Indian mascot this Tuesday, the district announced Thursday. Trustees could vote on the matter at a regular board meeting at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 15.

“This issue is not new,” board chair Dave Mattson said. “The debate has been part of an important local and national dialogue for many years now.”

Mattson, trustee Paul Vitale and district administrators met with the Fort Hall Business Council Thursday to lay out a proposed timeline for reexamining the issue and taking “action to retire (the mascot) immediately,” the district announced.

Kevin Callahan, acting chair of the Fort Hall Business Council, extolled the proposal. He said the tribal council looks forward to working with the district on next steps.

The Shoshone-Bannock tribes last year asked the state to get rid of all American Indian school mascots. Some districts have met the request. Teton dropped its controversial and longstanding Redskins mascot in July 2019. Boise trustees changed Boise High School’s “Braves” mascot to “Brave” a month later.

American Indian-themed mascots still in place include:

  • Pocatello High School (Indians).
  • Buhl High School (Indians).
  • Preston High School (Indians).
  • Salmon High School (Savages).
  • Salmon River High School (Savages).
  • Shoshone High School (Indians).
Devin Bodkin

About Devin Bodkin

Reporter Devin Bodkin covers education issues in East Idaho. He is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. He is a 2019 Solutions Journalism Network fellow and the Idaho Press Club's 2019 print reporter of the year. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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