TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Hillsborough County Schools voted on Tuesday to change Chamberlain High School’s mascot. Two groups showed up to the board meeting to voice their opinions on the mascot, “The Chiefs.”
“It’s very offensive what goes on,” said Robert Rosa with the Florida Indigenous Alliance.
“We have people who say ‘I get it, let’s move on,’ and we have other people saying ‘You know what? You’re never taking the chief away from me,’” said Terry Cisco with the Chamberlain High School Legacy Alliance.
It’s a fight over the Chamberlain Chiefs mascot.
“That’s appalling, that’s appropriation,” said Rosa.
Rosa says the mascot is cultural appropriation. He says Native American feathers and face painting are only meant for spiritual and cultural purposes.
“Those feathers on the head-dresses are given, earned. And for them to make a mockery is just out of control,” said Rosa.
On the other hand, Terry Cisco, with the Chamberlain High School Legacy Alliance, has a different view.
“The current students hear about all the wonderful stories of pep rallies and they were called pow wows. They see all the pictures of the chief-ettes and their beautiful costuming, they can’t do any of it. They can’t have any fun today for fear of offending somebody,” said Cisco.
Rosa says the use of the head-dresses and face paint is not the only issue.
“The rival teams then have the opportunity to say derogatory marks against indigenous people,” said Rosa.
So the Florida Indigenous Alliance met in front of the Hillsborough County District Office on Tuesday, demanding change.
We’re not going to stop until it’s done. This has been a fight since the 70s. And we are going to keep going,” said Rosa.