The Indigenous Journalists Association has long held the stance that mascots and team names derived from Indigenous peoples are inherently racist. These images, names and logos reinforce stereotypes of Indigenous people, which then act as a replacement for the accurate and authentic portrayal of Indigenous people and communities. This replacement “disappears” contemporary Indigenous people in the broader fabric of society, making it more difficult to address the real issues confronting Indian Country.
In June, IJA launched the #EndRacistMascots Coalition to form an advocacy group in support of the ethical treatment of these racist nicknames and logos consistent with other racist content. We encourage our colleagues in media to join the coalition and help spread the #EndRacistMascots campaign.
IJA demands that all media outlets treat these images, names and logos in the same manner as other racist terms. We encourage our colleagues in mainstream media to refer to the SPJ Code of Ethics, the AP Stylebook and this IJA opinion for guidance when presented with an editorial choice to represent Indigenous mascots to their audiences.
Further Guidance and Select Research Below
Reading Red Report 2003.
Prepared by Kara Briggs, former IJA president, and Dan Lewerenz, IJA board member.
Reading Red Report 2007.
Written by Cristina L. Azocar, Director, Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism, San Francisco State University.
The psychosocial effects of Indigenous mascots: a comprehensive review of empirical research findings
Laurel R. Davis-Delano, Joseph P. Gone and Stephanie A. Fryberg
Activating stereotypes with brand imagery.
J. W. Angle, S. W. Dagogo-Jack, M. R. Forehand, A. W. Perkins.
The American Psychological Association Resolution Recommending the Immediate Retirement of American Indian Mascots.