Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an executive order Tuesday creating a commission to discuss American Indian high school mascots. The group would include tribes, local community members and state agencies to find common ground, said Ernest House Jr., executive director of the Colorado Office of Indian Affairs. In the last legislative session, a bill carried by state Reps. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, and Jovan Melton, D-Aurora, that would have required tribal approval for public schools to continue using American Indian mascots passed in the Democrat-led state House but was killed by a Republican-led Senate committee. "When Rep. Melton and I addressed this issue last legislative session, we met with members of the American Indian community who were concerned that their heritage was being disrespected," Salazar said Tuesday. "With the governor's apology for the Sand Creek Massacre last year, and this important step today, we have made small but significant steps as a state in directly addressing these symbols of prejudice." DOCUMENT: Hickenlooper's executive order on creating a commission on American Indian school mascots House Bill 1165 would have created a subcommittee in the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs to review the use of potentially offensive mascots. The subcommittee or a tribe would… Read full this story
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