Maine governor signs bill to ban Native American mascots

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine public schools and universities will soon ban the use of mascots and logos depicting Native Americans.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills’ office says the bill she signed Thursday will become effective 90 days after the Legislature adjourns.

Penobscot Nation Ambassador Maulian Dana says the law is “a huge step toward trust and respect” for indigenous people. Democratic Rep. Benjamin Collings said members of tribal communities are people, not mascots.

Mills’ office says California, Oregon and Wisconsin have similar restrictions, while South Dakota, New York and Michigan have called for the end of the use of mascots.

Republican opponents have argued that local boards should decide such issues.

The last Maine high school to use such a mascot, Skowhegan Area High School, voted to stop using it this year.

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