Iowa mom shares personal stories in effort to change Indians nickname



A mom in Indianola is trying to share a personal perspective in an effort to retire the Indians nickname, though the school board has no immediate plans to revisit the issue. Amanda Cawthorn, who is of Oneida ancestry, attended a high school in Wisconsin that also used the Indians moniker.But that school changed its nickname in the early 1990s, and she would like to see the same for her four children in Indianola. “Indians are a race of people, a current race of people, not a people that are extinct,” she said.The team nickname has been tied to the town for generations, and many people in the community would like to continue the tradition.”I support it fully,” said Hailey Stanley, a student at Indianola High School. “We’ve been Indianola Indians since my dad went to school at Indianola, and I love Indianola Indians.”Cawthorn says she likes to chat with people one-on-one to share her perspective. “My oldest son was all signed up for fall sports, and right before they started he said, ‘Mom, I can’t do it. I can’t wear that uniform. I can’t represent my school with my race branded on my chest.'”The school board held a meeting in 2021 that included public comment about the future of the nickname, but no action was taken. Indianola School Board President Rob Keller released the following statement for this story:”Currently the Indianola School Board does not have any plans to further discuss our Indianola Indians nickname and logo at an upcoming board meeting. This past June the Indianola School Board met with our Superintendent for a board workshop. We named the following four areas as board priorities for the current school year: the High School Bond Issue, School Safety, the Mental Health of our students and teachers and Career Technical Education.”Cawthorn said she thinks the name will change someday, but she doesn’t know when.

A mom in Indianola is trying to share a personal perspective in an effort to retire the Indians nickname, though the school board has no immediate plans to revisit the issue.

Amanda Cawthorn, who is of Oneida ancestry, attended a high school in Wisconsin that also used the Indians moniker.

But that school changed its nickname in the early 1990s, and she would like to see the same for her four children in Indianola.

“Indians are a race of people, a current race of people, not a people that are extinct,” she said.

The team nickname has been tied to the town for generations, and many people in the community would like to continue the tradition.

“I support it fully,” said Hailey Stanley, a student at Indianola High School. “We’ve been Indianola Indians since my dad went to school at Indianola, and I love Indianola Indians.”

Cawthorn says she likes to chat with people one-on-one to share her perspective.

“My oldest son was all signed up for fall sports, and right before they started he said, ‘Mom, I can’t do it. I can’t wear that uniform. I can’t represent my school with my race branded on my chest.'”

The school board held a meeting in 2021 that included public comment about the future of the nickname, but no action was taken.

Indianola School Board President Rob Keller released the following statement for this story:

“Currently the Indianola School Board does not have any plans to further discuss our Indianola Indians nickname and logo at an upcoming board meeting. This past June the Indianola School Board met with our Superintendent for a board workshop. We named the following four areas as board priorities for the current school year: the High School Bond Issue, School Safety, the Mental Health of our students and teachers and Career Technical Education.”

Cawthorn said she thinks the name will change someday, but she doesn’t know when.



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