Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation representative and CEO of Nation Enterprises, will present a check to the Cooperstown Central School District on May 15.

Oneida Nation to Present Cooperstown with Check for Mascot Change

May 13, 2013

To help offset the cost of changing mascots from the Redskins to the Hawkeyes, Oneida Nation Representative and CEO of Nation Enterprises Ray Halbritter will present a check to the Cooperstown Central School District on May 15 at 7 p.m. at the beginning of the Board of Education meeting.

The board voted unanimously on the new nickname on April 23. The move to get rid of the old name was prompted by students though.

“There were several students who came forward to the superintendent and myself,” Cooperstown Board of Education President Dr. David Borgstrom told Indian Country Today Media Network in February. “They told us how uncomfortable they felt about it and we made a commitment to educate the students about cultural diversity. When they brought it forward there wasn’t really any other response we could give them than, ‘You’re right.’” (Related story: “Positive Reactions to Cooperstown Central Changing School Mascot)

The Oneida Indian Nation, which owns Oneida Nation Enterprises, parent company of Indian Country Today Media Network, was so moved by the actions of the Cooperstown students, that a letter by Halbritter was sent to them commending their decision and offering to help offset the cost of making the mascot change.

“You have announced a standard that recognizes that mascots which are known to dehumanize and disrespect any race of mankind have no place in our schools, or our great country,” he wrote in the letter. “We understand that your courageous decision also comes with a financial consequence and, unfortunately, potential backlash from those who somehow claim that ethnic stereotyping is a victimless crime.” (Related story: “Oneida Nation Offers to Pay for New Uniforms of High School That Changed 'Redskins' Name)

In February Borgrstrom estimated the cost of new uniforms could be anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000. The Hawkeye mascot will be officially adopted July 1.



Dianne Corbiere's picture
Dianne Corbiere
Submitted by Dianne Corbiere on

Finally someone is standing up and acknowledging that stereotypes dirested at anyone is not conducive to good education, or good moral standards. I know there are still people who still love to hate and don't care about victimizing, maybe the professional teams could take a lesson from this school and follow suit.

John. Rugar's picture
John. Rugar
Submitted by John. Rugar on

The socially untainted and racially unbiased youth is the key to all people living in harmony .

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on

If Native Americans would rest in the reality of their true Great Spirit Jesus Christ. If they would allow God to change their hearts and their minds. This wouldn't be the important issue that they're making it. They would see who they were made to be and realize that man's worthless pursuits to degrade them wasn't as important as who God made them to be and how much God loves them. They are allowing their past to still haunt them and control them instead allowing God to take all of that away from them. So He can completely, totally and fully heal, deliver and restore them. Make Jesus your main focus and center of your life and joyfully discover what Natives have been missing.


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