Saranac schools drop Redskins mascot, Hartford schools drop Indians mascot

Ionia County

SARANAC, Mich. (WOOD) — Two West Michigan schools are dropping Native American-related mascots.

Saranac Community Schools said this week that its board voted unanimously to “respectfully retire” the mascot. The district said it will remain the Redskins until a new name is chosen.

It is the last school in West Michigan to use the Redskins mascot.

The superintendent will be charge of the new mascot selection process, which will be selected by a committee.

Hartford Public Schools also announced in a letter to parents Friday they are retiring their Indians mascot.

The letter from Superintendent Kelly Millin and the president of Hartford’s Board of Education, Mike Banic, highlighted the importance of diversity and inclusion and the partnership with their Pokagon Band of Potawatomi.

“We value our long shared partnership with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi; and, as we learn more about social emotional needs, both parties agree that it is necessary to reexamine our current mascot and school logo,” the letter read.

The school will work with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi to find a new mascot that symbolizes their community.

The school’s mascot will be officially be retired at the end of the 2021-2022 school year.

Early last year, after years of controversy in the community, Paw Paw Public Schools said it would get rid of the Redskins mascot. It adopted a new mascot in July, becoming the Red Wolves. The district said that was part of a culture reform initiative that it said left students feeling more respected.

Only two other schools in Michigan continue use the Redskins mascot: Camden-Frontier near the Ohio line and Sandusky in the Thumb. Clinton in southeastern Michigan changed its mascot, also to the Redwolves, last year.

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