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Resolution in the Utah legislature would discourage removing Native American names, symbols or imagery from schools

Posted at 4:40 PM, Jan 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-17 18:40:46-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A resolution introduced in the Utah State Legislature would discourage the removal of names, symbols or imagery that some Native American tribes and groups have long sought to get rid of.

House Joint Resolution 10, sponsored by Rep. Rex Shipp, R-Cedar City, would declare the legislature “supports the appropriate use of names, images, or symbols of Native Americans or other indigenous people by schools or other places.”

However, it also “discourages removal of names, images, or symbols of Native Americans or other indigenous people by schools or other places, unless after a careful and effective public process, the appropriate government entity determines that there is a consensus amongst the affected individual Native American or other indigenous people that a name, image, or symbol should be removed.”

The resolution cites a poll that claimed 90% of Native Americans are not offended by the use of the “Redskins” nickname and also claimed that “a significant number of individual Native Americans have no problem with or support the respectful use of Native American names and imagery in sports.”

However, the resolution that was made public this week, has faced criticism from some Native American leaders in the region. Darren Parry, the chairman of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation, criticized the resolution in a Twitter post and called for its defeat.

The resolution appears to be in response to a controversy in Cedar City surrounding Cedar High’s use of the “Redmen” mascot. It was a divisive debate in Cedar City as the Iron County School Board considered getting rid of it. Earlier this year, students voted to adopt the “Reds” mascot instead.

A resolution is a statement by the Utah State Legislature and is not legally binding.