Original letter Original letter
Text of the letter.

National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media
Illinois Chapter

                                              July 13, 1999
Salmon School Board
District 291
907 Sharkey Street
Salmon, ID

        RE:  Salmon High School

Dear Board Members:

     On a recent trip to your beautiful town, my husband and I were
appalled to se such beauty marred by the use of your high school's team
name/logo.  We are considering purchasing property in your area, but we
cannot in good consience bring our 12 year old son who is Shoshone-
Bannock to a community that embraces inaccurate, anachronistic, and
damaging stereotypes of Native American people.

     Further, as a Coordinator of the National Coalition on Racism in
Sports and Media (NCRSM), I cannot ignore this blatant use of negative
imagery.  Our organizatio exists to fight the powerful influence of
major media who choose to promulgate messages of oppression.  The
impetus which formed NCRSM was the clear case of media coupling
imagery with widely held misconceptions of American Indians in the
form of sports team identities resulting in racial, cultural, and spiritual
stereotyping.  NCRSM strives to eliminate learned hatred and disrespect
which your children experience every day in school because of your high
school sports team designation.

     I would like to remind you of the definition of "Savage".

            Not domesicated or cultivated: wild.  Not
            civilized, barbaric.  Ferocious, fierce.  A
            primitive or rude person.  Abrutal person.

     The term savage does not describe Native people and your use of
this term along with Native imagery is offensive, disparaging, and
scandalous.  In light of this, it should be an embarrassment that your high
school maintains such a team name and logo.  It is an insult to the Native
American community and especially to Native children who live in your
area and attend your schools.

P.O. Box 337, Urbana, IL 61803-0037 Office (217) 355-6757 or (217) 840-6584 FAX (217) 355-6757

Salmon School Board
Hyly 13, 1999
Page Two

Sometimes thoughtlessness or habit or what we may call "tradition"
leaves us less than sensative to such matters, but this is not a trivial issue.
Your use of the term "Savages" represents a human rights
violation.  Much of the inter-ethnic conflict in the world today results
from the failure of some cultural groups to honor and respect the right of
different, usually minority, groups to preserve and protect their
distinctive cultural heritage and traditions.

     Therefore, I would like to invite you to join us in a dialogue
concerning discontinuing the use of Native American imagery, symbols,
and othor allusions to Native people by your high school.  However, If
reasonable discussions have not progressed withing 45 days, we will then
proceed with legal actions available to us.

     Please contact us soon so that we may begin constructive action
to replace this negative imagery in your community.

                                           Respectfully submitted.

                                           Cyd A, Crue


County Commissioners
206 Courthouse Drive
Salmon, ID

Chamber of Commerce
200 Main Street
Salmon, ID

City Council
City Hall
200 Main Street
Salmon, ID


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© 1999 NCRSM and Mike Wicks