LAWTON Okla._ The debate of Indian mascots was the main topic at Cameron University Tuesday night. Dr. Cornel Pewewardy, a professor at Portland State University, and a member of the Comanche tribe, spoke about the push to convince schools and professional sports groups to get rid of those nicknames. He said many were created as the result of Hollywood imagery that leads to a hurtful stereotype of all Native American people.
"The message about Indian mascots is about myth making. It's about the stereotypes that were created to try to depict Native American caricatures in a negative light," said Pewewardy.
Pewewardy's presentation is titled ‘Walk a Mile in my Redface', and he delivers it to audiences across the country in hopes of raising awareness of what he calls "an assault on Native American culture". He says most non-Indians don't understand that symbols that have become synonymous with schools and athletics, like war chants, and eagle feathers, actually have sacred meanings among Native Americans.