Maine has become the first state to ban Native American mascots at public schools, colleges, and universities, CNN reported.
Gov. Janet Mills — a Democrat who took office in January — signed the measure Thursday. It will go into effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns, the governor’s office said.
“While Indian mascots were often originally chosen to recognize and honor a school’s unique connection to Native American communities in Maine, we have heard clearly and unequivocally from Maine tribes that they are a source of pain and anguish,” Mills said in a statement. “A mascot is a symbol of pride, but it is not the source of pride. Our people, communities, and understanding and respect for one another are Maine’s source of pride and it is time our symbols reflect that.”