The Sports Mascot Campaign

Despite the fact that such changes had been made at Dartmouth and Stanford, quite a tumult ensued. There was a debate in the auditorium. There was arguing in the halls. The letters columns in the local papers ballooned. Usually apathetic students discovered passion. People got really worked up over their right to appropriate the symbols of a living culture. Ironically, Indian resistance to the New England settlements was broken in 1676, and a critical battle was fought in Sudbury.

The issue died and flared up several times over the years. Fourteen years later, in 1988, the school committee voted to change the mascot, thanks to letters sent to them by the Boston Indian Council and the Native American Parents of Minnesota.

Today the sports teams at Lincoln-Sudbury are still known as the warriors (along with many other Massachusetts high school teams), but the association with Native Americans is gone at L-S. Well, at least officially. In a gesture of underground resistance, students still do the ersatz "tomahawk chop chant" at big games. Some would be honest enough to admit this is the only time they give a passing thought to Native Americans.

Sudbury's Puritan settlers "bought" the land for their town for a few bucks from an Indian named "Goodman." All that remains of a Native American presence in Sudbury is "Goodman Hill Road."


All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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