A Clinton County School District Enters “Indians” Mascot Debate
The Clinton county town of Camanche, Iowa is one of 11 schools in Iowa that use the nickname "Indians". But after a vote by their school board this week, they don't plan to use it anymore.
KCRG says the board voted 5-1 to retire at the end of the school year the name that's been in use since 1961. They say the move comes after decades of recommendations from Native American groups and school agencies.
But, wait, isn't the town's name, "Camanche" itself the name of a Native American tribe? The town's website talks about Dr. George K. Peck who, in 1836 joined thousands of other people trekking to Iowa "on foot, in teams, and by boat." Peck's ancestors had come with the Pilgrims, and his father was a colonel in the Army during the Revolutionary War. On his journey, Peck came upon a high bank he thought was ideal for a settlement, and thus it became "Camanche" (which he had indeed misspelled) in honor of the Native American tribe, Comanche. So, you could say he was wanting to honor the tribe.
As we know, Marion Community School District recently voted to drop "Indians" as its mascot and go with "Mavericks", which immediately created uproar itself due to ties to 1800s slave-owner Samuel Maverick. The issue was put back on the table for them and don't be surprised if it happens in Camanche, too. While the board voted in favor of changing it, a number of community members who spoke at the meeting were against the change, calling it a result of "cancel culture".
KCRG spoke to the Superintendent of Wapello Community Schools, who also uses the nickname "Indians", who said they have no plans to change.