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Connecticut Schools Could Lose Casino Funding If They Don't Change Indigenous Mascots

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Connecticut schools get funds from casinos run by two indigenous tribes — and about a dozen schools with indigenous mascots could lose that funding. That’s if a new part of the state budget goes forward.

State Senator Cathy Osten’s district includes both tribes’ reservations. Osten said most towns take tribes’ money without listening to their concerns about how the mascots are offensive.

The town of Guilford changed their school’s mascot last year. Paul Freeman is Guilford’s school superintendent.

“Local tribal organizations and communities in Connecticut were not supportive of us using that term. We knew they took offense at using that term, and so we decided to do the right thing,” Freeman said.

If the budget goes forward with the provision, schools would have two years to change their names or imagery before losing money.

Copyright 2021 WSHU

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He fell in love with sound-rich radio storytelling while working as an assistant reporter at KBIA public radio in Columbia, Missouri. Before coming back to radio, he worked in digital journalism as the editor of Newtown Patch. As a freelance reporter, his work for WSHU aired nationally on NPR. Davis is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism; he started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.
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