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Native American Mascots

Last week, the State of New York released additional guidance regarding the use of Native American Mascots by public schools.   While Southern Cayuga retired the chief head logo many years ago, the guidance document clearly prohibits the continued use of team names, along with mascots and logos derived from, or that have connections to, Indigenous peoples. Southern Cayuga will soon retire the team nickname Chiefs as dictated by the Board of Regents of the New York State Education Department. 
Changing Native American mascots has been a topic of ongoing discussion and debate. Many people argue that these mascots perpetuate stereotypes and cultural appropriation and they can be offensive and disrespectful to Native American communities.
On the other hand, some people argue that Native American mascots are a form of tribute and can help to promote awareness and understanding of Native American culture. They contend that these mascots can be a source of pride and honor for both Native American communities and sports fans. However, it is crucial to recognize that the perspectives within Native American communities are diverse, and not all individuals or tribes share the same opinion on this matter. It is essential to respect their perspectives, concerns, and cultural heritage when making decisions about mascots or symbols that represent their identity.
The district will create a mascot advisory committee to identify a new team name, logo, and mascot.  The mascot advisory committee will include students, coaches, community members, board members, and staff in the process.  The goal of the committee is to have thoughtful conversations within our school community and identify a new symbol of Southern Cayuga pride.

Background and Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Part 123 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Relating to Prohibiting the Use of Indigenous Names, Mascots, and Logos by Public Schools
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Patrick Jensen, Superintendent
2384 State Route 34B
Aurora, NY 13026