HARTFORD, Mich. — The Hartford Board of Education has voted 6-1 to “respectfully retire” its “Indians” mascot by the end of the 2021-22 school year.
Board members ultimately decided that moving forward with the change was the best path for the district, according to a news release Monday.
Some of the information weighed included Resolution 21-03-04-02 from the Pokagon Band of Potawatomis, which addressed Native American name and imagery usage in all public institutions.
The scope of the resolution was further clarified in a direct letter from Tribal Council Chairwoman Rebecca Richards, which was read aloud during the board meeting.
“In consideration of Hartford Public Schools’ recent announcement to retire its ‘Indian’ mascot at the end of the 2021/2022 school year, and following input from our Native Imagery Workgroup as well as Pokagon Elders and close to 6,000 Pokagon citizens, the Pokagon Tribal Council has formally approved by resolution to support the removal of the Hartford Indian mascot,” the letter said.
Hartford Public Schools will now solicit community and other stakeholder input before recommending a new mascot to the school board for approval.