On October 11, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 30 into law prohibiting public schools from using the term “Redskins” as a team name or mascot. Dahkota Brown, 2013 Champion for Change, was instrumental in the fight to end the school-sanctioned use of the racial slur and strongly advocated for the bill’s passage.
During a hearing earlier this year, Dahkota stated that “there is no way these schools chose their mascot out of honor or respect, when Natives were not considered full citizens and could not even vote at that time.” Dahkota has a very personal connection to this issue as his school’s biggest sports rivalry is one of the four schools in California that use the R-Skin as their mascot.
As of Jan. 1, 2017, all public schools will be barred from using the term “Redskin,” which many Natives consider a racial slur. The measure by Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) will allow schools that use materials that contain the term, such as uniforms, to phase out their use to alleviate cost concerns.
Upon hearing of the passage of the legislation, Dahkota “I know I’ll be in college by the time the change occurs but I find peace in knowing my younger peers can obtain an education free from mockery and hold their head high with pride in their ethnicity.” Many prominent voices from around Indian Country praised the passage of this legislation yet caution that this only marks a small victory for the larger movement to change the name of the Washington NFL football team.
We at CNAY are proud of Dahkota’s accomplishments and are excited to see what the future holds for him. #ChangeTheMascot