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Mason City School Board approves 'River Hawks' as new mascot

The previous mascot was retired in November in an effort to rid the district of a symbol that exploited Native American tribal imagery.

MASON CITY, Iowa — EDITOR'S NOTE: The above video is from November 2021

Less than six months after dropping the mascot “Mohawks,” the Mason City School Board has approved a student-led suggestion to adopt the district's new mascot: the River Hawks.

The board unanimously approved the name change at a meeting Monday night, the Globe Gazette reported.

The name was presented by members of the Mason City High School student senate after a vote of the student body saw more than 61% select River Hawks over two other contenders — the Majors and the Monarchs.

Board members and school administrators praised the students who led the effort to pick a new mascot. Board director Katie Koehler suggested that adults in the community could learn something from students about having “respectful conversations.”

The previous mascot was retired in November in an effort to rid the district of a symbol that exploited Native American tribal imagery. The Meskwaki Nation in Iowa and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council of Akwesasne, New York, had objected to the Native-themed mascot.

Calls for such changes have grown more insistent across the country in recent years, leading schools and professional sports teams to drop offensive names and mascots that either pull from or pervert Native American culture.

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