By Asa Jackson
In the current climate, many people have decided that it is time to remove the offensive logos, names, and symbols associated with sports teams and mascots. Throughout history many highschool, college, and professional teams have had names or mascots that are in some way depictions of Native Americans or Native American culture. This has outraged many because oftentimes those logos and names are racist and stereotypical depictions of Native Americans. These have included appropriations of ceremonial and religious symbols, racist caricatures, and depictions of native people as violent savages. These logos are chosen without any consent from Native tribes. This problematic use of Native American logos is especially concerning due to the history of oppression of Native people in America. In recent years, many professional teams such as the Washington Redskins, or Cleveland Indians have been in the process of changing their names or removing offensive logos. Just recently, the Cleveland Indians announced that they would permanently be changing their name due to it’s racist nature. The changing of mascot names has not just been a recent movement though. For decades, different schools and sports teams have been changing their mascots, logos, and names, like at Frontier.
Frontier changed its name from the Redskins to the Redhawks in 1998 due to feelings within the community that the name was racist and offensive. Historically the name or word “Redskin” was used as a racist slur toward Native American people across America. With this name change, there were many mixed reactions within the community. Scott Dredge, who was in college at the time of the logo change, and is currently the vice principal at Frontier said, “I remember getting updates from my family about it and it was very contentious. Many people were passionate about the tradition of the name and logo and yet others saw the need to change it due to it’s racist origins and depiction.” The logo change that occured in 1998 was a progressive move for the time, and showed a positive step forward for the school community.
To this day, there are parts of the Frontier logo that are being changed. Currently, one of the Frontier logos has aspects that resemble the parts of the Washington Redskins logo. One of the school’s many different logos, still has the general look of the Redskins logo without the Native American man in the middle. For some people, the image of the Native American person combined with the racist slur was the problem with the Redskins logo and by association any connection to the Redskins logo remains offensive. At this point, a decision has been made to change this version of the Frontier logo. Within the coming weeks, a new Frontier logo will be revealed, and hopefully the contentious history of the Frontier logo will finally be put to rest.