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The Genesee River by Michael Felsen

NYS Department of Education makes it official: Native American Mascots must go by 2025

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The Canisteo-Greenwood has already dropped the “Redskins” mascot

By Andrew Harris, pictured is the new C-G logo

Yesterday in a final ruling by the NYS Board of Regents will impact sixty school districts statewide. The policy was laid out last December by the state education department and now will be enforced as of May 3, 2025. The essence of the new policy:

“Public schools shall prohibit school officers, employees, and all individuals when
located on school property or at a school function from utilizing or promoting any
Indigenous name, logo, or mascot. This provision shall not apply to any individual who
is a member of a tribal nation and is utilizing or promoting an Indigenous name, logo, or
mascot of such tribal nation.”

Read that full memo from December 2022 at the bottom of this article.

Locally, the Canisteo-Greenwood School district has already dropped their Native American “Redskins” mascot after forming a community committee. A quick review of district websites and social media indicates that C-G has moved proactively. What the new mascot will be is still unknown.

Canisteo native Bob Lonsberry had this to say about the new state policy:

Schools that do not comply with the directive will risk losing state funding.

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