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Legislative Support

NAGA is actively encouraging state legislatures to mandate the teaching of Native American history in public schools in much the same way states like Illinois have passed laws that mandate the teaching of African American history. NAGA is also encouraging state legislatures to pass resolutions in support of Native themed public schools, citing their importance in keeping Native Americans in the public conscience. NAGA representatives addressed the Utah State Legislature in 2019, and both the Utah and Idaho State Legislatures have drafted pending resolutions in support of Native themed public schools.

Of course, having a Native theme to represent a school's athletic teams comes with a heavy responsibility to do so accurately and respectfully, with a heavy emphasis on educating about Native American history, culture, and heritage. NAGA endorses education over eradication and encourages Native themed schools to modify any logos that could easily be identified as overtly stereotypical or cartoonish in favor of something respectful and regionally accurate. NAGA opposes costumed "mascot" entertainers and adds our voice to those calling for an end to sideline mascots. We endorse authentic cultural celebrations at athletic events consistent with that widely precedented and accepted in the Native American community.

Finally, NAGA is encouraging at the federal level for more Native American history in the United States citizenship exam. Tragically, the exam currently includes little in terms of significant Native American history or national contributions. In 2019, NAGA Representatives met with Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) officials about this issue resulting in a commitment to add more pertinent questions about Native American history and national contributions in the citizenship exam in the future.

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