Gov. Mills weighs in on Skowhegan school nickname debate

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SKOWHEGAN, Maine (AP) - The new Democratic governor of Maine weighed in on an ongoing debate in Skowhegan over the school district's "Indians" nickname for its sports teams.

Proponents of the nickname insist it honors Maine's Native American tribes, while critics say the name objectifies Native Americans. The Morning Sentinel reports the Skowhegan-based School Administrative District 54 board of directors will hold a public forum on the matter Tuesday.

Gov. Janet Mills sent a letter to the board Dec. 6 acknowledging changing the nickname could be difficult, but the "Indians" name has become a source of pain for native people in the state.

School board member Jennifer Poirier says she appreciates the input, but says the nickname issue is a local matter.