Some want Huron mascot changed, others do not

Posted at 5:07 PM, Jun 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-22 19:54:47-04

WXYZ — “Everybody that came through Huron High School as a Chief wears the moniker proudly, but there are some things that have bubbled up in the past few years that have called that into question,” former Huron High School principal Rod Hopper said.

The depiction of a Huron Indian can be found all over the grounds at Huron High School.

The area has a deep history with the Huron Tribe, and according to former Huron High School principal Rod Hopper, the community celebrates its heritage proudly.

“Nobody, and I can say this with emphasis, nobody in the Huron community ever intentionally did anything to disrespect our Native American history that we saw at all,” Hopper added.

But now, there are those who are seeking that mascot be changed. Last week, over fifty Huron High School alumni presented the superintendent with a letter asking for the school to “denounce the use of Native American stereotypes and imagery in all Huron School District capacities.”

They also stated that stereotypes of anyone hurt everyone, and that the school should not only change the logos and mascot name, but also work hard to educate the community on the history, experience, and presence of Native Americans in Huron Township and beyond.

Superintendent Donovan Rowe released a statement to WXYZ saying "I am thankful to this group of former students for bringing these important concerns to us. The Huron School District values the opportunity to engage in an important dialogue pertaining to the use of Native American iconography. Our community continues to learn and grow, and we are striving to be more informed and educated pertaining to the treatment and use of Native American representations and symbols."

Rowe did tell me that he and the school board are launching an exploratory committee and are ready to listen to those who want change, but there are also those who don’t want to give up their pride in their communities use of the moniker.

Many alumni from a wide range of generations took to the Facebook group “The Huron Hub” with comments defending the use while pointing to the history of the area.

A 2009 graduate pointed out that the school has paid homage to the Huron History in the library, and that “the school has never been disrespectful and always wanted to share the story of the land it was built on.”

A graduate of 1992 claims that they will always be proud to be a Chief, and that the symbol is of a strong people, held in high esteem within the district and the township.

A 1979 alum also added they would be offended if it was changed, citing their Native American heritage.