COLORADO, USA — The House on Thursday gave final approval to a bill that will ban the use of most Indian mascots and nicknames in Colorado public schools, colleges and universities. The Senate Thursday night concurred on amendments and it now heads to the governor's desk.
The House Education Committee, however, did soften the blow for the nearly two dozen public schools that use Indian mascots and that are not part of cooperative agreements with Native American tribes.
>The video above aired when the bill was proposed
The expense of replacing sports uniforms, painted symbols on gym floors and other places in the schools has been cited as a burden to their budgets, so the committee added an amendment to allow those schools to tap funds from the Build Excellent Schools Today fund.
Another amendment allows schools that are named after towns with Indian names (Yuma, Niwot and Ouray, most notably) to still use the name, including on school letterheads.
Under the bill, schools must end their use of Indian mascots and nicknames no later than June 1, 2022. Those that refuse can incur a $25,000 per month fine.
The education committee heard pleas from a dozen residents of Yuma, including Native American residents who believe the Yuma High School's Indian mascot honors Native Americans rather than dehumanizing them.
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