Manistee Area Public Schools holds public vote to change mascot
Manistee Area Public Schools is changing its mascot and a community vote will help the district decide.
The public can decide between two options: “Manistee Mariners” or “Manistee Whitecaps".
The school is changing its name from “Chippewas” in an effort to move away from using Indigenous names and imagery, as sports mascots.
In an online post, the school district explained the "selection was based upon a misunderstanding of the tribal representation of our region."
"Chippewas" has been Manistee's mascot for over 90 years, when students voted for the mascot in a 1930 newspaper contest, "before we understood the offensive and detrimental nature of the use of Native American imagery," the school wrote.
The effort started last fall and was led by a student committee. It met with community members to gather recommendations and received over 300 submissions.
While the mascot will change, the school won’t ban imagery of the former mascot, and other items representative of alumni will remain.
The public can vote online by February 7th on the Manistee district’s website.
The change will go into effect in the 2023-2024 school year.