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The Debate Over Native American Mascots

Cristy Meiners

Last week, a Bountiful High alumna called on the school to drop its use of the "Braves" mascot, calling it “offensive, outdated and racist.” But who decides whether a mascot can or should be stripped from sports culture?

The battle over a Native American mascot in Bountiful was echoed in national news headlines when the pro football team in Washington DC announced it was dropping the name “Redskins” and retiring its Indian chief logo. It was a surprising about-face for the franchise, which for decades has resisted claims that the team name was a racial slur. Friday at 11 a.m. we’re talking about the appropriation of Native American names and imagery in popular culture. There’s a troubling history behind all of this, not to mention a lot of debate.


  • Randy Lewis, Bountiful City Mayor
  • James Courage Singer,  Diversity Fellow at Salt Lake Community College
  • Dr. Jason Edward Black, professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Author of Mascot Nation: The Controversy Over Native American Representations in Sports.
Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.