The Colorado Indian Affairs Commission ruled that the new Lamar Savage (Savage Thunder) mascot and logo did not meet the Commission’s approval. The Re-2 District School Board made its most recent presentation to the CCIA on Friday, April 15and via Zoom, during which Superintendent Dr. Charles Krug used the allotted five-minute slot to explain how the Board and Mascot Committee decided on two choices which they submitted to the Commission. At that time, the Commission said it would have a decision for the district by May 19.and. Last week’s decision led the CCIA to make no motion to remove Lamar School District from its list.
Both artistic depictions depicted a charging buffalo or bison that would become the new mascot with CCIA approval. The board had presented the first recommendation as the Lamar Savages, retaining the mascot name with the image of the bison, the second choice depicted the same bison with the logo, Savage Thunder, the name of the bison.
Both were rejected by the Commission, primarily due to the use of the term Savage, which was initially objected to in light of the passage of SB21-116 earlier this year. Basically, it prohibits schools from having Native American mascots without permission from a tribe. Several schools across Colorado have faced a deadline to create new logos or mascots that would not be considered offensive to Native Americans or their historical culture or would be fined $25,000 per month beginning March 1. June.st2022. At the council meeting of April 15and presentation, Dr. Krug highlighted the administration’s efforts to comply with the mandate, going so far as to begin removing imagery from school vehicles and some school walls in anticipation that the new logos would be deemed acceptable.
After school board members found the CCIA had spoken out against the changes, during the May 19 executive session, the board passed a resolution to offer a third choice, that of Lamar Thunder as an alternative, eliminating any reference to the Savages by June 1.st. The CCIA did not act on the last recommendation made to it during the chat session, part of the comments opened during the fifth hour of the meeting on 19and.
Superintendent Krug later said the CCIA sent mixed signals to the district at their April 15 meeting.and Meet. “We suggested a bison as an alternative at the time, but some members of the CCIA board of directors indicated that the buffalo or bison were also part of Native American historical culture, which suggested to us that this is not was not a way to go.” Krug expressed surprise on May 19and when Arickaree Schools changed their image to a buffalo of an Indian and the CCIA praised them for their depiction. Krug added that it would have been very helpful to have a personal representative from the CCIA who could have worked with the district for a quick and acceptable solution. He said that the lack of communication, in light of the fact that we are dealing with schools and not companies where the education of children comes into play, the changes should represent a model of growth, and not to determine the winners or losers.
Krug said he believed the CCIA believed their suggestions were clearly understood by the Lamar District Council, but that was not the case. “The board has really been tasked with some concerning issues such as providing our staff with a salary recommendation, when in the back of their minds they are also facing a possible $25,000 monthly fine. The board has strived to merge two essential elements, the desires of the community and the maintenance of quality staff so that we can educate the students of our community.
The CCIA removed eleven schools from its non-compliant list on May 19and once they retired their mascots or developed partnerships with various tribes that allowed them to retain their mascots. The CCIA has also added several schools to the list that used a Thunderbird mascot and those schools now have one year to find an acceptable mascot or face the same fine.
Dr Krug said he would be in contact with the CCIA by June 1st to find out if Lamar Thunder will be acceptable.
By Russ Baldwin