MAPS board hears Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians comment against Redmen nickname

Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 10:52 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 28, 2022 at 11:01 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Marquette Area Public Schools board members heard public comment about the Redmen nickname at Monday night’s meeting.

Austin Lowes, Acting Chairman of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians, wrote a letter to the board, asking them to remove the school’s Redmen nickname.

In 2019, a survey conducted by Consumer Connections out of Green Bay, found 59% of people wanted to keep the current nickname, while 41% wanted it to change.

Lowes wrote that he could not attend Monday night’s meeting due to his schedule, so Leora Tadgerson, a dual citizen of Bay Mills and Wiikwemkong First Nations, read the letter.

“It is a hurtful word that perpetuates racial stereotypes and cultural misappropriation, damages the mental health and self-esteem of Indigenous children and creates a negative learning environment for all children,” Lowes wrote.

The only board member to comment publicly on the issue was trustee Jennifer Ray, who said it’s time for a change.

“There may be some tribal leaders who don’t agree with the removal of this name,” Ray said. “But many of them are asking us over and over again.”

MAPS Superintendent Zack Sedgwick had no comment on the letter.

School board president James Randall said he did not want to comment on if the name should be changed or not, but he said any change can’t take place immediately.

Randall’s term expires in December.

Here is the letter from Lowes in its entirety:

This letter was read at tonight's MAPS school board meeting. They were asked to respond during "board member comment"...

Posted by Time for Change: MSHS Needs A New Nickname on Monday, November 28, 2022