Former West grade met with Native American Tribes to change the Canton High School mascot

Former West grade met with Native American Tribes to change the Canton High School mascot

Nate Millen, reporter

The Salem High school graduate and West Middle School graduate, Sophie Jeffers, has been long awaiting the Canton High School mascot change. Jeffers met with and interviewed Native American Tribes about the use of the Chiefs mascot.

Many Native American tribes like the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians all agree that the name is disrespectful towards Native tribes and should be changed for everyone’s benefit.  The tribes also added that it was uncomfortable, disrespectful, and destructive of Indian people and their kids.

Sophie Jeffers, a person that was instrumental in trying to get the mascot to change said, “I feel uncomfortable and frustrated. Lots of Indigenous groups have denounced these logos, but there’s still no change. It feels good and bad that I started the change. Got it on people’s minds, but it didn’t get finished.” 

“I interviewed 8 Native tribes in Michigan,” she continued. “ I learned that they dislike and are uncomfortable with mascots like ours. The use of a chief in a mascot way demeans the importance and promotes stereotypes.” 

Jeffers added, “We should listen to those whose imagery and ideas are being used. And the Native Americans said we want it changed!” When many people agree on a topic and the people it affects the most want it changed, we should listen and take action.

Jeffers summarized this by saying. “Use the resources provided, there are plenty of funds to cover the change, we should do it. The change does not have to be all at once, it can be a progression. If you believe something is wrong, start with research, then interview those who are affected, and do not overpower those affected.” Sophie concluded. The school should take more time and listen to people and what they have to say.”

It’s clear Jeffers did her homework and if you also want to change something, you can research and persevere to have your thoughts heard to make a change.