Colorado Schools, Indian Tribe Come Together Over Controversial Mascots

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Photo: Strasburg High School Indian mascot Northern Arapaho
Two images of the Strasburg High School Indian mascot. On the left, a new depiction designed by Eugene Ridgley of the Northern Arapaho tribe. On the right, the logo the school uses now.

For years students at Strasburg High east of Denver have called themselves the "Indians" on the football field and the volleyball court. But recently names like that have drawn criticism nationwide and some in the school community wanted to know if the nickname is offensive to Indians who used to live in Colorado. Now the school has formed a partnership with the Northern Arapaho, who have blessed the use of the name "Indians," helped the school reimagine its logo and will send tribal leaders to visit Strasburg Friday.

Strasburg Principal Jeff Rasp also helped Gov. John Hickenlooper's office figure out how to deal with other Indian-themed mascots at schools around the state by serving on a commission that presents its findings to the governor today. Rasp, Strasburg student body president Lindsey Nichols and Ben Ridgley of the Northern Arapaho tribe spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.