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Stockbridge-Munsee Community rep urges Coxsackie-Athens to drop mascot

Mar 23, 2021 6:00 am

Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Heather Bruegl, cultural affairs director for the Stockbridge-Munsee Community, is urging the Coxsackie-Athens school board to do away with the district’s mascot, known as the Indians. The board of education has created a committee to determine whether the team name and mascot should be changed. Bruegl said March 22, mascots based on a race of people are inappropriate. Her organization passed a tribal resolution two years ago opposing the practice. “We have a resolution that talks about how we do not condone race-based mascots and we very firmly stand against that,” Bruegl said. “It is absolutely insulting and derogatory to reduce a group of people down to a mascot and then claim that you are honoring them...It boils us down to some caricature that somebody thinks we look like.” The Coxsackie-Athens lands were inhabited by the Mohican Nation, now federally known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community, before they were forcibly removed from the land, Bruegl said. No decision on the mascot was made at the board of education meeting last week, where Bruegl was asked to speak. School board member Barton Wallace suggested future steps to collect more community input, such as focus groups "with some stakeholders from both sides of the fence on this issue...," Wallace said. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.