It appears KaHS will be keeping mascot for another year (Townsquare media)
It appears KaHS will be keeping mascot for another year (Townsquare media)

Washington State Legislative Democrats have been trying for a number of years to pass laws prohibiting the use of Native American mascots by public-private schools.


Most of them were voted down, but earlier this year a measure passed that required schools to change or discontinue their use by January 1, 2022.

The exceptions were if the school is on tribal lands, within a certain distance of tribal lands, or has an agreement or permission from the appropriate tribe.

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Such is the case with Kamiakin in Kennewick.  The Kennewick School District Friday released information indicating the Yakama Nation intends to enter into a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, that would allow another year of use of the Braves mascot.

Kamiakin (Yellow-black) vs. Kennewick (Townsquare media)
Kamiakin (Yellow-black) vs. Kennewick (Townsquare media)

During that time the tribe would continue to "consult" with the District.


As for the other alternative high school overseen by the District, Legacy, KSD has this to say:

"In regards to the Legacy High School “Thunderbirds” mascot, the representative indicated that the Tribal Council does not feel that it is within their purview to authorize continued use of the mascot and image, since the “Thunderbird” is connected to coastal tribes. For this reason, Legacy High School will begin the process of renaming its mascot by forming a mascot naming committee and seeking suggestions from the community to replace the “Thunderbird." A recommendation for a new mascot will be presented to the school board at the Dec. 8 meeting. "

Kamiakin has used the Braves mascot since its opening in 1970, and reports indicate some distant descendants of Chief Kamiakin himself were present for some of the dedication ceremonies.


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