Ending the Era of Harmful “Indian” Mascots

Latest News

Cuyahoga Heights (OH) Retires
R*dsk*ns Mascot

Toledo (WA) Changes
Mascot to Riverhawks

Kalama (WA) Chooses
Salmon Mascot

State Lawmakers in Ohio Introduce
Mascots Resolution

Key NCAI Resources

NCAI's Longstanding Opposition to Harmful "Indian" Sports Mascots

As the nation's oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native advocacy organization, NCAI has long held a clear position against derogatory and harmful stereotypes of Native people - including sports mascots - in media and popular culture. Since NCAI launched its campaign to address stereotypes of Native people in popular culture, media, and sports in 1968, significant progress has been made in pursuit of ending the era of “Indian” mascots.

NCAI's position is clear, longstanding, and deeply rooted in our 77 years as a leading voice for Indian Country – we advocate for and protect the civil rights, social justice, and racial equity of all Native people in all parts of American society.

NCAI's Work to End "Indian" Mascots

NCAI is the oldest, largest, and most representative national organization that shares the unified voice of hundreds of Tribal Nations representing millions of Native people, and that voice has been consistent and clear for decades: sports mascots are symbols of disrespect that degrade, mock, and harm Native people, in particular Native youth. NCAI’s work to end “Indian” or Native “themed” mascots, used interchangeably here, is guided by our numerous resolutions pertaining to cultural appropriation and the harmful effects of these mascots. For decades, NCAI largely focused its efforts on ending “Indian” mascots at the professional level, directing specific attention to the former mascot of the NFL’s Washington Football Team. In 2020, NCAI formally expanded the initiative to include work at the K-12 level, which included the development of the National School Mascot Tracking Database. In 2021, NCAI further expanded the initiative to include work at the state level, developing a State Activity Tracker and engaging directly with state legislatures pursuing mascot bans through legislation.

NCAI’s Ending “Indian” Mascots initiative currently focuses on three primary levels: the K-12 school level, the state level, and the professional sports level.

To request NCAI’s help at the K-12 or state levels, please email mascots@ncai.org.

Archive of NCAI News and Updates

August 2021 
Ending "Indian" Mascots Update: NCAI Launches State Activity Tracker (08.03.21)

July 2021 
NCAI Commends Announcement by Major League Baseball's Cleveland Franchise of Its New Name "Guardians" (07.23.21) 

Ending "Indian" Mascots Update: NCAI President Commemorates Anniversary of Retirement of Washington Football Team's Mascot; More Schools Retire Their Native "Themed" Mascots

Ending "Indian" Mascots Update: NCAI Presents Overview of National School Mascot Tracking Database; More Native "Themed" Mascots are Retired, Replaced (07.12.21) 

Washington NFL Team says no Native-themed mascot (Indian Country Today, 07.12.21)

Ending "Indian" Mascots Update: Colorado School Mascot Ban Signed Into Law, Washington Law Taking Effect, New York School Retires Mascot (07.02.21) 

June 2021
Ending "Indian" Mascots Update: Colorado and Nevada Pass Bills Banning Native "Themed" Mascots, Logos, and Team Names (06.08.21)

April 2021
Ending "Indian" Mascots Update: The State of Washington Bans Native "Themed" Mascots, Logos, and Team Names (04.28.21) 

Ending "Indian" Mascots Update: Two More School Districts Retire Native "Themed" Mascots, Three Others Select Replacements (04.26.21) 

March 2021
Ending "Indian" Mascots Update: Three More Schools Retire Native "Themed" Mascots (03.23.21) 

Ending "Indian" Mascots Update: Schools Retire Old Mascots, Select New Ones as State Legislatures Consider Native "Themed" Mascot Bans (03.03.21) 

February 2021
Ending "Indian" Mascots Update: More Offensive "Indian" Mascots Retired as Momentum Continues into Early 2021 (02.02.21) 

December 2020
NCAI Commends Decision by Major League Baseball's Cleveland Franchise to Change Its "Indians" Name (12.14.20) 

July 2020
NCAI Statement on the Washington Football Team's Retirement of Racist Mascot (07.13.20) 

January 2019
NCAI Applauds Decision by Little League International to Ban Racially Offensive Team Names and Mascots (01.11.19)