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Proposed state bill would require schools with Native American mascots to receive tribe approval

SPRINGFIELD (WREX) — A bill introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives would require schools with Native American mascots to receive tribe approval.

The bill was introduced by Rockford Democrat Rep. Maurice West on Friday.

"Sports logos and mascots would not be used to caricaturize and misrepresent cultures," West said in a statement posted on his website. "If the legitimate intent of a school is to honor local Native Americans, this measure provides the opportunity to secure approval from a nearby tribe."

House Bill 4783 would prohibit schools from using a Native American logo or mascot unless:

  • The school receives express written consent from a Native American tribe within 500 miles of the school, which must be renewed every 5 years.
  • Conducts a school-wide program on Native American contributions to society;
  • Offers a course of study to students focusing on Native American contributions to society;
  • Files an annual report to the Illinois State Board of Education explaining that academic programs of Native Americans were offered during the school year.

Failure to comply with the rules would prohibit the school from competing in any playoffs.

25 News Staff

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