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Letter: Traditions should make everyone proud

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Surfaces are pictured around Bountiful High on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020 after the school announced it would to retire The Braves name.

As Utahns, we each have many traditions, like going to see the Temple lights or having our annual St. George trips. But some traditions are not always happy, such as the use of Native mascots.

When I am referring to Native mascots, I am not referring to the University of Utah’s use of the Utes mascot because they have communicated and work with the Ute Tribe to ensure everything is culturally respected.

What I mean by the use of Native mascots as a “tradition” that is harmful, I am referring to Bountiful High School and its mascot, the Braves.

The use of a Native as a mascot isn’t a tradition to the Natives, especially when people are culturally appropriating. It isn’t a tradition when a white teenager runs around the stage in a headdress mocking the Native Americans.

Tradition shouldn’t be about a Native American teen as they watch their student body dress in their culture. Tradition shouldn’t be causing their fellow peers to be uncomfortable going to football games and walking down the hallways.

A tradition should be something that brings everyone together. A tradition should be something that everyone is proud of. A tradition is something that your fellow peers wouldn’t be uncomfortable with. A tradition doesn’t make Native American students not feel safe in their own school and community.

I think a tradition shouldn’t continue if the community has asked for it to be changed as the Native Americans have done. For that reason, all Native mascots and symbols in Utah should be retired.

Jenny Magana, Salt Lake City

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