Governor Kitzhaber vetoes the Native American mascot bill

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Governor John Kitzhaber has vetoed SB 215, the bill that created an exemption in the state Board of Education's ban on Native American mascots. It is the only bill that he vetoed from the 2013 legislative session.

SB 215 would have created an exception that would allow public schools to get approval from the nearest federally-recognized tribe to use their Native American mascots and imagery.

In his veto message (pdf), the Governor expressed concern with "the broad nature" of the exception. He did, however, say that he would support "a 'namesake exception' -- modeled on NCAA policy and recommendations from the National Congress of American Indians" that would allow tribes to grant use of their own name.

At the NCAA level, this is how Florida State University is authorized to use the "Seminoles" name and imagery (and why the University of North Dakota no longer formally uses its former name, the "Fighting Sioux")

Check out the very spirited discussion of this issue we've had this week on BlueOregon.

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