NCAI Statement on Maine Governor's Ban on Use of Native-Themed Mascots

Published on May 22, 2019

NCAI applauds the recent signing of a bill making Maine the first state to ban the use of all Native “themed” mascots and imagery in public schools, colleges, and universities. The signing of this bill becomes the most comprehensive mascot legislation to pass to date. Maine joins other government bodies in setting an example of a government honoring the state’s tribal nations and signifies the state’s respect for all of its citizens.

Since 1968, NCAI has diligently opposed derogatory and harmful stereotypes of Native peoples in media and popular culture, which includes sports mascots and related imagery. During the past 51 years, hundreds of tribal nations, national and regional tribal organizations, civil rights organizations, school boards, sports teams, sports and media personalities, and individuals have called for the end to harmful Native-themed mascots.  This stance is further supported by social science research conducted by the American Psychological Association that found derogatory “Indian” sports mascots have negative psychological, social and cultural impacts on Native people, especially Native youth.

NCAI is committed to its ongoing public education and advocacy efforts to whittle away at the remaining public educational institutions who continue to use offensive, derogatory, and harmful Native “themed” mascots, names, and/or imagery. As the oldest, largest, most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization, we look forward to more states standing with Maine on the right side of history.


About the National Congress of American Indians:

Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information, visit

Subscribe to our News RSS