The American Indian Movement is a grassroots national organization intended to restore dignity for Indigenous Peoples & to change policy in local, state & national government
The news stories below will tell you that the Carpinteria school board voted to reinstate their racist mascot. They will tell you how some of the local Native people support the mascot.
What none of the news coverage bothers to mention is the hell that the Native people of Carpinteria have endured over the past year. From death threats, intimidation, harassment to public targeting of a child, people being chased into their churches and verbally assaulted...none of that seems to matter.
That being said, the local Native people who oppose the mascot were allowed to speak at this school board meeting. The last time they had a "special" meeting in the school gymnasium, the Native people were shouted down when they tried to speak, and spit upon as they exited the building. This time they had the support of AIM, the Aztlan Harmony Keepers, and many other state and local organizations. With the attention of the media focused on Carpinteria, the local non-Native community was afraid to engage in the kind of behavior that has become commonplace over the past year.
The school board admitted that some of the imagery should be done away with. This opens the door for further examination. Re-introducing anti-mascot legislation at the state level is also being pursued in anticipation of the pro-mascot Schwartzenegger leaving office.
With all these issues being discussed in major news papers, now is the time to write letters to the editor. Especially the LA Times and the Santa Barbara Independent. As those two papers have been more favorable to our side, they are more likely to print letters from our people. Also, when these issues are raised on a state level, previous support from major newspapers will be critical. Tell these people how you feel and why symbols matter!
The fight is far from over...
1. AIM was founded to return Indigenous peoples attention back toward traditional spirituality.
2. Organizing for the removal of offensive & culturally insensitive within schools & city buildings
3. Stands firm for the restoration or traditional languages and protection of sacred sites.