Supporters and opponents of 'Indians' mascot name speak at Skowhegan school board meeting

SKOWHEGAN, Maine (WABI) - Over a hundred people gathered at a school board meeting in Skowhegan Thursday night to voice either their support or opposition to the high school mascot, the Indians.

A few people from each side of the issue spoke and the school board voted to schedule a hearing next month where more people can have the opportunity to speak.

Those who support the name say that it's not racist and they are honoring the name and tradition.

Those who are against it say that it is racist, and the people that the mascot depicts should be the ones to determine that.

"I think people in the town of Skowhegan have some kind of entitlement to using Indians as a mascot and that they truly maybe believe that they're doing it in an honorable way but some of the terrible, racist, and shocking actions that have come out of this town are a direct result of the mascot," says Maulian Dana, Tribal Ambassador for the Penobscot Nation.

"I hope that we can keep our name, the Skowhegan Indians," says Nicole Carter, a supporter of keeping the name. "We did have a vote, maybe 3 years ago, and I brought 3500 signatures from our townspeople who want to keep the name, so I feel like our board should respect what our town wants."

The forum to discuss this issue is scheduled for January 8th at 6:00PM and is open to anyone who wants to attend.