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Colorado's ban on Native American school mascots faces questions of constitutionality in a new lawsuit

Protest against Washington football team name
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Protest against Washington football team name

Earlier this month, a North Dakota-based group sued Colorado for its new ban on Native American school mascots. The ban came about as part of Senate Bill 21-116, which Gov. Jared Polis signed back in June. The bill gave 25 Colorado schools that currently have Native American mascots 11 months to remove them or face a monthly fine of $25,000.

But the plaintiffs of the lawsuit, the Native American Guardians Association, argue that this ban is unconstitutional. They say that while some American Indian mascots are caricatures that mock their heritage, there are also culturally appropriate Native American names and logos that honor tribes and neutralize stereotypes.

To learn more about the mascot ban and the implications of the lawsuit, Colorado Edition spoke to staff attorney at the Native American Rights Fund, Matthew Campbell.

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