A preliminary study conducted by the Indian Leader Association shows an even divide among the Haskell Indian Nations University (HINU) community regarding HINU’s use of Plains Native American imagery as a mascot. The opt-in survey distributed through social media and student emails asked students, past students and alumni, faculty, and other community members (self identifying as parents, other Natives, Lawrence residents, etc.) if HINU should change their “Fightin’ Indians” mascot.
Seventy-seven students self reported with just over half (50.6%) voting for the mascot to be changed. However, the small sample size provided a 9 percent margin of error at a 90 percent confidence level meaning the larger population’s view on the mascot could go either way. The sample sizes for past students and alumni (135), faculty (2), and other community members (22) were small enough not to be a valid representation of their larger populations, but does prompt discussion on the matter.
Those that voted to change the mascot also contributed ideas for a new mascot. Some of these included “The Haskell: turtles, buffalo, bison, thunderbirds, wolves, eagles, huskies, hawks, bears, sovereigns, tribes, suns, intertribals, bucks, salmon, defenders and protects, medicine wheel, or squirrels”.
This survey was just part of the larger discussion of Native American mascots which is holding public interest among professional sports teams.
Disclaimer: This survey was conducted by The Indian Leader Association and not instigated or associated with Haskell Indian Nations Univeristy (HINU) and does not reflect that HINU will use this information in decisions about the university’s mascot.