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A Chumash student at Carpinteria High School is working to change the racist mascot of his school and that of the middle school which portray indigenous people in a racist and stereotypical manner as well as use sacred native symbols in inappropriate ways.

Please refresh often site updated almost daily!!!

Click here for Eli's Letter to the Carpinteria School Board

You can continue to show your support for Eli and his efforts to help end racism in the Carpinteria School District by attending this meeting, writing letters or sending emails to the board members below...

Carpinteria School Board Members

Terry HickeyBanks - tbanks@cusd.net

Amrita Salm - asalm@cusd.net

Leslie Deardorff - ldeardorff@cusd.net

Beverly Grant - bgrant@cusd.net

Alex Pulido - apulido@cusd.net

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Visitors as of 22 May, 2008 15:04

In The News

May 13, 2008 6:54 AM

Carp schools superintendent urges board to reconsider Warrior imagery : Group against change says removal of American Indian icons will have financial fallout -- It appears the push to remove American Indian imagery from Carpinteria High School may be at a turning point. Paul Cordeiro, superintendent of the Carpinteria Unified School District, will ask the five-member board today to reconsider its 3-2 vote to do away with the paintings, logos, murals and other images depicting the mascot that has, for generations, instilled "Warrior Pride." Voting to keep the name but remove images April 22 were board members Amrita Salm, Leslie Deardorff and Beverly Grant -- who now find themselves targets of a recall effort.

SCOTT STEEPLETON, NEWS-PRESS ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Letters received so far

Victor Rios, Debra Guckenheimer, Brooke Neely,Veronica Montes and Tracy Royce

Marzia Milazzo

Marcus Lopez

Jim Owl DeerInWater-Gibbs

Emails received...

5/21/2008

Hello Eli,


My name is Amber Gonzalez and I'm a graduate student at UCSB and an advisor at SBCC. I'm writing this with Ashleigh Brown, a student at SBCC. We are very much in support of your efforts to remove Native imagery at Caprenteria High School. As Native students we want to show our support in any way that we can. We believe that there needs to be a presence at the upcoming board meeting and would like get your opinion on organizing a rally at the meeting. There are many supporters at SBCC, UCSB, Carp and the surrounding community and we feel that the board (and those that want to keep the imagery) need to know that we all support your efforts. Another idea we have is to bring awareness and open a dialogue in the community. We would like to look in reserving the outdoor theater in Carp to show "The Canary Effect" and/or "In Whose Honor? American Indian Mascots in Sports" and possibly have speakers and an open discussion.

Please let us know what you think or if there is else that we can do.

Amber Gonzalez & Ashleigh Brown

5/21/2008

Hi Eli,

Keep up the honorable work. As someone who has been involved in this issue for a number of years, I offer my comments.

I have always held to the belief it is up to adults to make proper choices for our youth. You have chosen to stand up for the rights of Indian youth and that is admirable. It does take on a huge responsibility which includes racist remarks, demeaning comments, and worse, death threats - all of which should not be carried by our students whose responsibility it is to have a successful experience in public school and graduate. Do not take to heart what you hear and feel pity for these people who do not know any better. They are uneducated and a product of our Euro-centric educational system...

..If ADA brings in approximately $6,000 per student on an annual basis ask how many Indian students started school at Carpinteria and how many graduated? Statistics typically bear out Indian students drop out in significant numbers (for us anyway) when they have to attend a school that demeans their culture through a mascot. That is a huge loss in revenue if only 10 students dropped out. $6,000 x 10 x 1 year = $60,000. Most school officials take notice when it hits them in the pocket and this factor would more than make up for any alleged costs for new uniforms and a new logo.

Some advice:

  • Do not make demands for the Indian community to be a part of the new mascot. As long as it is no longer an Indian mascot, let it go;
  • Allow the school to keep the Warrior name – just ask they remove any Indian imagery, including eagle feathers, bows and arrows, etc. We don’t own the warrior image (think Golden State Warriors – Indians don’t come to mind);
  • Ask them, “don’t you have more important things to worry about than keeping a racist mascot?” Beat them to the punch;
  • Educate those who are angry about a change (ask for help from adults). The angry will get over it when they are educated;
  • Ask why don’t they use a Carp? It would be relevant…

I hope this is of some help. We all have to work together to effect change because we live in a racist society. It takes time but each person standing up makes a difference. No one should give up because racist attacks will continue for future students.

Cindy La Marr, Pit River/Paiute

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5/20/2008

It is times like these, when so-called "good Americans" come forward to show their "true colors". Racism is alive and well in the USA today, as it has been forever, it seems. The only difference is that these same people don't have guts enough to show who they truly are and confront African Americans or Latinos, or Asians, etc. because of their numbers and money in society at large. It takes great courage to go through what you and your family and supporters are experiencing. If you were one of those other ethnic groups, the Feds would be on these racists and charging them with Hate Crimes. So where is the "equal treatment under the law" we hear so much about???

Thank you for your courage and strength, Eli BraveMan, and your supporters. My prayers and support are with you.

Sincerely, Jim Owl DeerInWater-Gibbs, Citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Elder, and VietNam Vet.

5/20/2008

Dear young People:

The following is what I have sent to the school board directors. I hope it helps. My family and I send our prayers. It is incredulous to me that this is still an issue in the USA in the21st Century.

Creator's blessings, Jim Owl DeerInWater-Gibbs

Note: forwarded letter attached. (see "Letters received so far")

5/20/2008

ELI,

WE ARE PROUD OF YOU. YOU ARE A TRUE WARRIOR IN A NEVER ENDING BATTLE AGAINST THE USE OF PEOPLE OF ANY ETHNIC GROUP AS "MASCOTS" OR "LOGOS" FOR SOME COMMERCIAL-ATHLETIC CONCERN. WE HERE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, LA BASIN CONTINUE IN THE SAME STRUGGLE. WE (THE GABRIELENO/TONGVA SAN GABRIEL BAND OF MISSION INDIANS) ARE CURRENTLY INVOLVED WITH A LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL IT DOESN'T END BROTHER. THE BATTLE CONTINUES.

FIGHT ON!
MARK FRANK ACUNA

5/19/2008

Hello Eli,

My name is Ashleigh Brown. I am a student at SBCC and a member of the Cherokee Nation. I founded the Native American Cultural Club at Santa Monica College and have made it my goal in life to learn and teach indigenous history of the Americas. I now live in Carpinteria and have already seen the lack of education on behalf of the residents. I am insulted by the response to the removal of the Warrior at Carp High. I was given your contact info from a Paulette at SBCC and I want to help you. I know a few people who are willing to do whatever needs to be done to educate the community. This type of blind eye racism must stop, now. I commend you so much for your strength and ability to speak up about this issue. Please if you need anything call me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Akaleikehe

5/6/2008

Friends,

Thank you for keeping us informed.

On the part of Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Development... We too extend our sincerest respect and admiration for the frontline work of the Chumash people in this regard, and especially to Eli. He walks in the prayers of our ancestors with his actions and intent.

We stand in solidarity with you all.
Tia

5/6/2008

Eli, the community is very proud of you. You are a true warrior. Our prayers are with you.

With great respect,
Ray & Sue Diaz

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5/3/2008

Eli~
It is obvious that ignorance still reigns supreme in the minds and hearts of many! That there is even a question that using sacred and historically inaccurate symbols of Native Americans is wrong amazes me. How difficult would it have been to find out? How difficult is it to ask a Native American?

I wonder if you had any idea the uproar your letter to the board was going to cause! Good for you for jumping in with both feet and a righteous heart to hopefully right a long-standing wrong. You remind me of the Civil Rights workers in the 60's...a brave soul standing for a righteous cause.

Your parents are to also be commended for instilling the truth in you, and encouraging you to not be satisfied with the status quo and the Hollywood depiction of Natives.

Stay Strong~the battle is worth it! As a non-indigenous person, I feel honored to know you , and I support all of your efforts!

Claudia

Be Stronger Than, Not Angry At

5/1/2008

Success!

The (Carpinteria School) board voted 3 to 2 to remove native imagery from the High school and middle school! However, as you can tell from the papers, some in the community are quite upset and we still have a ways to go towards educating many about the inappropriateness of using native peoples as sports mascots.


Thanks so very much for all your support and keep the letters and notes to the school board and the newspapers coming!

Charisse (Eli's mom)

4/28/2008

Dear Eli,

We are in awe of you and your passion to work for change. You are right to request the removal of images that promote a very simplistic and derogatory view of Native Americans. You are right to be offended.

Lollie, Rich and Will Warner

4/25/2008

Hi,

I have read about the NDN mascot topic and just wanted to express my appreciation and support for your decision regarding the NDN mascot policy....Thanks so much for respecting Native American's wishes and outlook on this matter. I commend Eli for his taking a stand on this issue and for not being afraid of showing leadership where his People are concerned. Please keep up the good work! Much appreciated!


Aho,
From Cindy Smits, the Netherlands, Europe

4/23/2008

Hi Eli,

I was proud to stand with you and offer our support at the school board meeting last night. Christine wrote a beautiful letter and I hope my reading of it did her sentiments justice. I have always been ashamed of the way Native American culture has been hijacked and disrespected by so many of us in the dominant culture, and the “Warrior” mascot really dampened our school spirit during Christine’s high school years.

This is a wonderful thing that you have done. We were at your naming ceremony, and I am proud to say that I have witnessed the growth of a fine young man. Your parents deserve to be as proud as they are.

Sincerely,

Gayle Haider

Ojai, CA 93023

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4/23/2008

Hello,

Just wanted to congratulate you on your(our) efforts to change the negative imagery!!! And to Eli especially, you should feel very proud of yourself and give yourself a PAT on the back! When I saw the KEYT news last night, I felt a huge relief in my heart that finally, your voices were heard and something is going to be done. Great Job People!

Tiara DuPree
Santa Barbara, CA

4/10/2008

...All the support is helping and all people, no matter what their ethnicity,can help! People can still write the school board and the Coastal View News. They can also send "halos" in the "Halos and Pitchforks " sections of the Carpinteria Coastal View to the kids (some as young as ten!!!!) who are standing up against the mascots and racism.

Eli was interviewed by the Coastal View Monday (will come out on Thursday and you can monitor the letters to the editor over the last three weeks beginning with March 20 on their site) and by American Indian Airwaves again yesterday--broadcast today at: http://www.kpfk.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2101&Itemid=135

You can play the broadcast from today (April 9) and from March 12 if you want to hear it---pass this on to whoever you think should hear it. Eli's part is about 50 minutes into it if you want to skip ahead, but the rest of the show is interesting, too.

Thanks so much,
Charisse (Eli's mom)

Peace from our house to yours!

Hi there,


Can we work out Eli coming to my class next Monday April 14 at about 12:45pm? That is the start of the class so he won't have to wait at all. Let me know and I'll give you the details.

Thanks
-Lisa Guravitz

Dear Elias,

I help organize a Free film series in downtown Los Angeles, entitled Bringing the Circle Together: A Native American Film Series. On Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 7pm we will be showing the film 'In Whose Honor' about racism in sports and the ongoing use of mascots. If at all possible would you or someone related with your activism be interested in speaking at our event, or providing us with information to help support your effort? Please let me know how we can help.

Good luck and Thank you,
Lorin Morgan-Richards
nafilmseries@aol.com
www.mypsace.com/nafilmseries

To: All Contributors and Readers

From: Editor

This and all other forms of inconsideration through perceived racism affect all of us, no matter what heritage we claim. Injustice to one is injustice to all... As a member of the only race (human race) you are welcome and requested if not obligated to ensure everyone from every background is treated with respect and consideration by our governmental, taxpayer-funded entities. So please write-in, send letters, make phone calls. Do all that you can do and enlist your family, friends and even your enemies to do the same.

Keith Terry 3/28/2008

Hi,

I heard your interview on KPFK radio a few weeks ago. I'm not indigenous, but I know a lot of people (also non-indigenous) who would be sympathetic to your cause and would write to the school board members.

Should I tell them about this issue, or do you prefer that indigenous people be involved?

Thank you.

Ross

Los Angeles, CA

Hi Eli,


I am taking a class at SBCC: "Racism in America". I'd love for you to come speak to my class about your efforts to change the school mascot. The class is on Mondays from 12:45-2:05. It wouldn't need to be a long lecture- just present your position and answer questions. We're on spring break the same week you are, so that wouldn't be a good week. Let me know if you think we could work it out. You could come towards the end of our classtime if you get out of school then. I"m not sure what your schedule is. Also, if transportation is an issue, I could help with that. Let me know your thoughts. You can email or call me.

Thanks.
Lisa Guravitz

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Eli,

I was thinking maybe you could write up your action as a project for this essay contest. Just a thought,marcus

From: Tia Oros Peters
Date: 2008/03/17 Mon PM 02:15:11 CDT

Young Native Writers Essay Contest

Excerpt from the: RFP BULLETIN - a service of the Foundation Center

Entries Invited for Young Native Writers Essay Contest

Deadline: April 15, 2008

The Young Native Writers Essay Contest is a writing contest for Native American high school students and is designed to inspire
honest portrayals of the richness of Native American life and history.

The contest is a program of the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation ( http://foundation.hklaw.com )

3/1/2008

Dear Eli,

Every once in a while there is a brave and courageous soul that takes the initiative to do two things; one exposes/lights up an injustice that most people seem to over look or have become complacent about, and the other, is becoming an example of hope that other people can role-model and emulate.

To you Eli M-C– BRAVO!

I hope that in working to eliminate the negative imagery such as the mascot used at your school, the Carpinteria School Board will come to respect what a positive, proactive leader you are and will continue to become for our community- Native and non-Native.

In spirit and activism,

Corine & Michael Fairbanks

Eli:

You have stepped forward to take on an issue that many adults are afraid to start. You have definitely earned your rank as a young warrior in our community and I honor and respect you for what you have started. Anything you need from me to help you along the way, you just send me an e-mail or feel free to give me a telephone call. I will try to be there in person too, should you need me and other community people to stand with you.

You make me feel so proud to be an elder, knowing that the future of American Indians is in the HEART of our youth today. We don't get to hear about what you and other young Indian leaders are doing because our media doesn't cover our concerns as they should. So, I have a wide network of American Indian friends, family and educators. I have sent out one request for them to support you. I will be sending out a national request just as soon as I get my list together. I am sending you the names of all of these people so you can call on them to help when that time comes.

We are so blessed to have you in our community and I miss seeing you. I will try to come to visit you and your family as soon as I can make some arrangements.

In Honor and Respect,

Linda Billey-Sevedge, Mississippi Choctaw, Elder
Former President: California Indian Education Association

Eli,

It takes a tremendous amount of courage to do what you have done! And as an Elder, I thank you and say that I will support your efforts in any way that I can. Isn't it strange that when our country is trying to show the world that we as a society have overcome racism by attempting to elect an African American for the first time in our history as President, we Native Americans must fight such blatant racism and callousness?

This fact is not lost to the rest of the world which, in many instances, does not view the U.S. very favorably. They see the hypocrisy and dual standards with which we live. I truly pray that in your time, we all will be treated equally in all ways in the U.S.A..

In order for this to happen, enough people of your generation need to say, "ENOUGH!" Bless you, and "wado" (our Cherokee way of saying thank you).

Jim Owl DeerInWater-Gibbs, Citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Elder
Santa Barbara County
Keep up the good work. You make us all proud. Your Apache brother, John Two Feathers, Chiricahua Apache

Greetings Eli,

While students have much to learn from educators, educators also have much to learn from students. Thank you for taking a stand that promotes respect and understanding of Native American people and cultures. Not only have you addressed the mascot issue, you've spoken philosophical truths that can guide us all into becoming better people, no matter what our ancestry or culture. Let's hope everyone in the Carpinteria school district and elsewhere hears your message and reacts in a respectful and correct manner.

And may your actions continue enlightening our world in a peaceful way.

Sincerely,
Gina Boltz
Director, Native Village Publications
Director, Youth Forum for International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers
http://www.nativevillage.org
Secretary/Treasurer, Link Center Foundation
http://linkcenterfoundation.org

I am not Native American but I have many friends who are. And I am all for the teams to change their names.
Please keep me on this list.

Rloveshy58@aol.com
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Eli,

I have sent the following email message in order to try and help you win this fight. I did not know your last name, and that's not important for this: the "Braveman" which you see by your name is the name I would bestow upon you in our Indian way, if you were my grandson. Your parents have much to be proud of in their Son Braveman!

Sincerely,
Jim Owl DeerInWater-Gibbs, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Elder
Santa Barbara County
Dear Eli,
I'm really proud of you for standing up to the administration, and speaking for all Indian people against the use of our culture and traditions in a demeaning manor with their Indian mascots and images. This issue of using Indian Mascots has been a disgrace to our Indian community through out this Nation for too long. I commend you and all the people who were there to voice your feelings to the Carpinteria School District. There is no justification for the use of these Indian mascots in the California schools, the only solution is to remove all symbols of Native Americans. I could not be there with you on that night but I am willing to help you anyway I can. I think it is about time to have another conference at one of the schools about the negative affect these Indian Mascots have on children and the community. I sincerely support you and your family for your courage. Congratulations again on the great job.

Joe Talaugon, Chumash Elder.

Karen Evangelista
Guadalupe Cultural Arts & Education Center
1065 Guadalupe Street
Guadalupe, CA 93434
Eli,

It's young people like you who encourage the rest of us to stay in this battle. Stand strong young brother and keep doing what is right, even when you feel your all alone. For many stand beside you and the ancestors, keep that sacred fire burning for you. You speak for many nations when you take this stand, and many nations stand with you, when you speak this truth. I shall remember you in my prayers. May creator take care of you and strengthen you always.

Freddie Romero
So what happened?

What do you need for the next step? How I can help?
--
Debra Guckenheimer
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Sociology
University of California, Santa Barbara

Haku Eli!

thank you for standing up and giving the people a voice. i am writing
a letter to the board on your behalf and in support of your
opposition, but know that it will be your victory when they finally
get rid of that mascot.

i hope all else is very well with you and your family, say hello for
me and i hope to see you all soon!

Dennis F. Kelley
Assistant Professor
Religious Studies/American Indian Studies
Iowa State University

Haku Eli,


I would like to congratulate you for your effort and standing for your community to make a positive change .Moreover, I congratulate you because I think you have your foot on the door with your school board. May I offer a suggestion to you and my humble perspective.
I have read Mr. Sconz answer to your letter. If you read carefully you will realized he agrees with you. in your premise, Who wouldn't, you are standing in solid ground there!.


It is the last five lines of your letter that he finds troubling. and he bases his whole argument on those five lines. May I suggest Eli , re- write your letter this time, keep it personal . Just how you feel about the inappropriate use of our symbols in your school. Try not to offer any alternatives at all ( That's what you did in your last five lines of your letter). Read the comments of the letters you've received in favor to make your argument even stronger. Finally, I would like to remind you once again, Mr John Sconz letter is telling you exactly what you need to do and for them, to listen!

Best of luck.
Our thoughts are with you.
Kiwa'non
Oscar

Eli,

As I said yesterday we would have a wonderful discussion today on our show. We will feature you on the American Indian Airwaves at 3:00 pm. Today. KPFK 90.7 fm (LA), 98.7 fm (Santa Barbara).
We are very proud of you and your courage for exposing this stereotype but most of all because you are the change ! As a young paddler of the Tomol you make us proud and you have my support and many others. I shall talk with you later, Marcus V. Lopez

Marcus V. Lopez
American Indian Airwaves/Coyote Radio
&
Barbareno Chumash Council of Santa Barbara
805-969-1076

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Eli,

I am proud of you for challenging your school mascot and for standing against stereotypical representations of Native people. Please know that regardless of the outcome of tonight's meeting, you are a courageous young man who took a stand on an issue that is so important to so many Native people across the country. Thank you for what you are doing.

J P Leary, Consultant
American Indian Studies Program
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
PO Box 7841
Madison, WI 53707-7841

Thanks, Eli!

My high school is still proud of their "mascot"--Apache Joe. And it really turns my stomach.

Best of luck,
Tracy

Hello Eli,

I recently received word from Debra Guckenheimer, who is a more advanced graduate student in my graduate school program - which is the Department of Sociology at UC Santa Barbara. I wanted to vocalize my support for your efforts to change the racist mascot at your local middle school. Furthermore, I commend you for undertaking this battle against white supremacy and its racist, often comical, depiction of people of color as mascots. Check out the "fightin' whities"

che
Cesar "El Che" Rodriguez
Graduate Student
Department of Sociology
Universidad de CalifAztlan en Santa Barbara

Hi Eli,

I heard about your situation from another UCSB graduate student, and support your cause. Have you contacted KPFK yet? I suspect that you might be able to gather even more support from/through them. Here are a few shows that might be especially appropriate to approach about inclusion of this situation on their programs:

Beneath the Surface with Jerry Quickley
Beneath The Surface
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 5:00-6:00 PM

HOST: Jerry Quickley, Email: Jerry Quickley: quick@kpfk.org, Producer: Jerry Quickley

Press Contact: Jerry Quickley, Producer, Beneath The Surface, KPFK 90.7FM Los Angeles, 818-985-2711 ext 218

Uprising Radio - M - F, 8:00 - 9:00 AM

HOST: Sonali Kolhatkar, PRODUCER: Sonali Kolhatkar, WEBSITE: www.uprisingradio.org, EMAIL: mail@uprisingradio.org

DESCRIPTION:
Uprising is a daily digest of independent news analysis, investigation, education, artistic expression, activism in the public
interest.

Tracy Royce
Graduate Student
Department of Sociology
University of California, Santa Barbara
troyce@umail.ucsb.edu

Hi Eli,


I want to send this email to you in support of changing the racist mascots at Carpinteria, public schools. I understand that many people do not think it is a big deal to have mascots that misrepresent Native American people, but I also understand that the continuing presence of these types of school mascots reifies incorrect and racist stereotypes. I wholeheartedly support your work to change the mascots. Please let me know if there is anything you need from me in your endeavor to do so.

Best,

Tonya Lindsey, Candidate for the Ph.D.
University California, Santa Barbara
Department of Sociology

Dear Eli:

I congratulate you on your courage to fight racism. As you know, racism is only based on ignorance and fear of what one does not understand - so just by your willingness to stand up - you are showing that you are the opposite of ignorant - you are intelligent and understanding - and you are the opposite of fearful, but you are courageous - whatever the outcome at the
board meeting - you have already won -because you did not stand back and do nothing - you stood up for what is right.

Sincerely,

Denise Daniels

Dear Eli,

Bring convey to the Carpinteria School Board our support of your efforts to change the racist mascots of Carpinteria High School and Middle School as well as the inappropriate misappropriation of Native symbols and imagery by schools in your district.

Sincerely,
Lisa Gurvitz
Tara Uliasz
Alena Donovan
Debra Guckenheimer

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Dear Eli,


I support you in your efforts to spearhead change at your school. As you know, warrior has a different meaning to we Chumash
than it's equivalent in English connotes. We think of being a good student, a good provider and an humble person that sacrifices as a "warrior," not merely a person who fights. I hope the school sees the value in changing the name. It might be a hassle to the powers that be, but it will be a short lived hassle with long range benefits. Do you have any alternatives thought up? Up here in Washington, the Evergreen State College's mascot is the Geoducks. If you don't know what that is, Google it. How about the Dolphin's, for they work together and cooperate.

Good luck to you, and keep me in the loop.
Kiwanan, Matthew
Olympia, WA

Eli,

It is always inspirational to observe a young person to engage himself in this critical educational issue. Please be aware many people support your courage and commitment in eradicating this type of imagery. Unfortunately, many boards of education, despite the ethos of education and enlightenment, are controlled by alumni groups who wish to continue offensive mascots. Subsequently, the hypocrisy of this issue is maintained by local groups to the detriment of our Native youth.

Respectfully,
Eugene Herrod
Southern California Indian Center

Hi Eli,


I am a supporter of your endeavor to change the unfair images of the Native American Indians in the CSD. I am the grandchild of a Cherokee woman and also African American myself. I commend you for taking a stand on what you believe to be better for us all.


I've heard your presentation twice now and feel that success will soon be yours. Nothing will change unless we take a stand. Please accept this letter as proof of the support to change the way Native Americans are portrayed and mascots are drawn in your school district.

I am,

Tiara DuPree, mother
Santa Barbara, CA

To whom it may concern,

I write in strong support of Eli Matisz-Cordero's petition to change the mascot of Carpinteria High School and Middle School. I support his efforts and his courage in standing up against stereotypical depictions of native peoples. Such depictions send the wrong message wherever they appear, but they seem particularly regrettable in the context of a school. To live up to their purpose, places of education should model tolerance, wisdom, and high ideals in everything that they support. I strongly urge the Carpinteria school board to join Eli in his efforts to foster a more respectful learning and community environment.

Sincerely,
Dr. Julie A. Carlson
Professor of English
UC Santa Barbara

Hi Eli,


I heard about your efforts to get the school mascots changed and we support what you are doing. Please don't give up if it doesn't happen right away. Feel free to add our names to any petition you have. I also will drop Amrita Salm a note, as she is a School Board Member.

Good Luck!
Lisa Guravitz
Fred Shaw

Haku Eli.

Just wanted to write this e mail to you and let you know we support the stand you have taken to end discriminatory symbols in your school district. As indigenous people, we find the use of any stereotypical images that promotes racism, and belittle a culture unacceptable and should be remove.

I find it embarrassing that today, indigenous people have to be subjected to stereotypical images in the school system. A system supposed to provide you with a positive learning environment, to educated you so you become a productive member of your community is instead, providing you with a negative environment design to lower your self stem and promotes misunderstanding and injustice.

Symbols are powerful and have the ability to affect the unconscious mind at different levels. People have spent a life time studying their effect and meaning. The use of sterol typical symbols is deeming and wrong.

It is my wish your school, stands up to the challenge and shows to their students a great gift a school can give to its pupils a lesson in understanding.

Kiwa’non

Oscar Ortiz

UCLA TLCEE student

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Dear Eli,

I'm writing to support your efforts to change the school mascot. Please add me to your list of community supporters. Also, please let me know if you need any additional support as you proceed with this process. I won't be able to make the meeting today, but would be very happy to help in the future if needed.

Thank you for initiating this request, and for putting it before the school board.

Best wishes,
Brooke Neely
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Sociology
University of California, Santa Barbara

The views expressed above are not necessarily those of ySTRIVE for Youth, Inc. However we stand with Eli and his efforts 100%. We have only edited the above emails and letters for spelling and content. If you as a reader are offended by any of above statements we apologize, but we do not apologize for the message they bring to light.

The youth of ySTRIVE for Youth, Inc.