SDHSAA Indian mascot discussion brings media attention to Woonsocket School

The question of the ethical use of Woonsocket’s mascot, the “Redmen,” was raised by area and statewide media, following a discussion at last Wednesday’s South Dakota High School Activities Association meeting.
At the meeting, Native American at-large SDHSAA Board member Roger Bordeaux of the Tiospa Zina Tribal School gave a presentation detailing the negative impact that Indian mascots can have on Native American students. He concluded that “it is very clear that Indian mascots, and any representation of stereotypical Indian imagery … cause harm to American Indian youth.”
The SDHSAA Board of Directors discussed the issue and decided to vote at their January meeting on the first reading of a resolution asking member schools to consider not using stereotypical Indian imagery and Indian mascots.
Board members emphasized throughout their discussion that the resolution would be in no way binding on school districts, but is meant to start a discussion about the use of Native American school mascots.
Sixteen schools in South Dakota have mascot names that may be considered offensive according to the SDHSAA resolution, including Woonsocket’s Redmen.
A press release by the SDHSAA regarding this discussion sparked interest from the Daily Republic, and was then picked up by other media outlets.
Supt. Rod Weber briefly addressed the Woonsocket School Board at their regular meeting Monday night, handing out copies of the information from the SDHSAA Board meeting. He said he plans to attend their next meeting on Jan. 5, at which time the Activities Association Board will be voting on the resolution.
Community member Connie Swenson was present at the start of the meeting to state her feelings on the matter. “I feel bad that [they] feel that way about this,” she began. “To me, it’s a sign of bravery.… we are proud of it. It shouldn’t be a negative, it should be a positive thing.”
Woonsocket uses the mascot “Redmen” for their cross country team, which is the only sport not co-oped with area schools. All other activities are part of the Blackhawk co-op, which started with Wessington Springs for football in 2008, and has continued on today to include Sanborn Central. Woonsocket and Sanborn Central are co-oped as the Blackhawks for all other sports and activities such as band and FFA.
Woonsocket School still considers their mascot as a single entity to be the “Redmen,” though the school moved away from the Indian imagery and began using a red “W” in its place around 15 years ago.

Comments are closed.

  • Weather

    April 22, 2021, 6:59 pm
    real feel: 37°F
    humidity: 66%
    wind speed: 13 mph S
    wind gusts: 18 mph
  • Upcoming Events

    April 2021
    Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
    March 28, 2021 March 29, 2021 March 30, 2021 March 31, 2021 April 1, 2021 April 2, 2021 April 3, 2021
    April 4, 2021 April 5, 2021 April 6, 2021 April 7, 2021 April 8, 2021 April 9, 2021 April 10, 2021
    April 11, 2021 April 12, 2021 April 13, 2021 April 14, 2021 April 15, 2021 April 16, 2021 April 17, 2021
    April 18, 2021 April 19, 2021 April 20, 2021 April 21, 2021 April 22, 2021 April 23, 2021 April 24, 2021
    April 25, 2021 April 26, 2021 April 27, 2021 April 28, 2021 April 29, 2021 April 30, 2021 May 1, 2021
  • Recent Posts

  • Contact Us

    Ph/Fax: 605.796.4221

    PO BOX 218
    Woonsocket, SD 57385
  • Archives