RETIRING THE THUNDERBIRD
Shorewood PTSA statement about retiring the Thunderbird mascot
The Shorewood High School PTSA supports retiring the Native American symbol of the Thunderbird for our school's mascot.
This decision is informed by the WA State PTA resolution Dismantling Institutional and Systemic Racism.
And also by the WA State House Bill 1356
And the Shoreline School Board's resolution to retire the Thunderbird as mascot.
Our PTSA acknowledges the United States' mercilessly violent history and oppression against the Native peoples of this country that resulted in the annihilation and near annihilation of many Native tribes. One of the many egregious wrongs perpetrated against Native Americans was and is the appropriation of indigenous symbols. The use of Native art as mascots for sports teams distorts and trivializes Native cultures' central belief systems for the use of white supremacist assimilation of indigenous people.
Appropriation is about using a cultural symbol from an oppressed people without their permission and in a way that doesn't honor its original meaning. The Shoreline School Board consulted with Pacific Northwest Native American tribes about their thoughts on this topic, and along with accepting public comment, came to the conclusion that it is time to retire the Thunderbird as the Shorewood High School mascot (October 5, 2021). We agree with this decision.
Health line article with definition of appropriation and specific examples
Neilson.com, More than Mascots
Misappropriating Native American culture by The Indian Express