Is 'Mohawk Trail' Offensive? School District Votes On Native American Imagery

May 8, 2019

The Mohawk Trail regional school committee in western Massachusetts is the latest to take on the controversial issue of Native American imagery at its meeting on May 9.

Mohawk Trail uses the name Warriors for its sports teams, displays a Native American in feathered headdress on a public mural, and uses similar logos elsewhere.

The school committee is scheduled to vote on whether to keep using any or all of those images — and even whether to remove Mohawk Trail from its name.

Committee Chair Martha Thurber said she learned from the experience of nearby Turners Falls, which went through a long process — including a public vote — before ending the use of the high school's "Indians" mascot.

"It's a very, very emotional issue, and I want to not drag this out," Thurber said. "I don't want to divide our community any further if we can help it. I want us to find a way to learn from this experience, and to move forward."

If the committee votes to end any of the Native American imagery, Thurber said the next step is to come up with a process to replace it.