I am a "Mohawk" writing in support of your kind community member Le Anne Clausen de Montes and her efforts to teach her four children respect for others by suggesting a Mason City High School mascot name change based on the consent of the St. Regis Indian Reservation residents.
There are enrolled tribal members from Akwesasne living in all 50 states, including Iowa. This is a far cry from 100 years ago when the population of Native Americans was at the lowest point due to centuries of disease, forced relocation and a broken way of life since 1492.
There is no connection between legitimate Native history and the whimsical short-lived nostalgia that Mason City Mohawks supporters are clinging to in response to the admirable efforts of your progressive city resident Le Anne.
A troubling pattern is emerging in the review of the stated justifications of the supporters of similar tribal-themed mascotivism across America, also seen with some professional sports franchise fanatics. The assertions of tradition and honor are referenced from afar without any basis in reality or relevance to the actual descendants of those few survivors a century ago from an original estimated population size ranging from 1,000,000 to 50,000,000 depending on whose data you embrace.
Instead of focusing on historical warlike traits to be modeled on the Mason City athletic playing surfaces, why not change the name to the Americans? This is what the colonists referred to their Native neighbors in that era, as opposed to their European origins.
Hard-earned Iowa tax dollars are being committed to a public school district in your community that is engaging in idolatry by committing to produce quality citizens while maintaining a double standard of preference and entitlement. And by the way, Mohawk is an Algonquin word for “flesh eaters.”
Charles Kader, Cleveland, Ohio