The Democratic State House Rep from the 40th District is preparing to introduce legislation in the next session that would require schools to drop Indian themed mascots, saying stereotypical caricatures of Native Americans cause lasting hurt.

Rep. Debra Lekanoff represents the 40th legislative district, which includes parts of San Juan, Whatcom and Skagit Counties. According to NW News Network she believes her efforts will gain momentum after the Washington D.C. Redskins in the NFL were forced to drop their nickname.

According to sources, roughly two dozen high schools utilize some sort of mascot around Braves, Indians, or Warriors.  In our area, that would include the Kamiakin Braves, the Wahluke Warriors (in Mattawa), The Moses Lake Chiefs, as well as the North Central High Indians in Spokane (Greater Spokane League).

However, according to sources, her legislation would preserve such names for schools who have previous agreements with Native American tribes, and the use of the mascot is done with "respect."

That would likely apply to Kamiakin, who worked with the Yakama Indian Nation to develop a powerful but respectful mascot figure and logo for the school.

Over the years, there have been similar efforts to remove these Native American mascots, but most have not succeeded.

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