Tomahawk exemplifies cultural appropriation, disrespects culture

Caroline Elfland, Staff Writer

At this moment in history’s arch there is no room for debate. Overcompensation is worth it. As a nation we have so deeply wronged Native Americans. I do not just mean the glorification of Christopher Columbus or the first Thanksgiving (though the first scars are always the most painful); I mean the blatant lack of attention or representation that manifests itself in the astronomical suicide, addiction and sexual assault rates on reservations. Our debt is so great, we must return all that we have stolen, starting with their name.

If you are going to claim the argument pride and honor, by all means, but as the saying goes: “walk the walk, do not just talk the talk.” Capitalizing off of history is not honor. The honoring of Natives would be a massively progressive stride. Push for Native representation in our school sanctioned literature, protest such disregards as the Dakota Access Pipeline, lobby for the representation of reservation officials in state and federal politics and most importantly inform yourself. Enroll in Silenced Voices. Know why the tomahawk represents strength. Know how long it would have taken you to earn each feather on your headdress. Know the sanctity of chants. It would be a ton of work, but if you want honor and you have pride, it would be worth it.

Our fear of change has grown bigger than our need for progress, and that is detrimental to a society. The answer is simple here. It is a lesson we learned in childhood: if you take something, give it back. A change in mascot or name is not jurassic. If your passion for the Northborough-Southborough school community is that deep, a simple and essential history correction should not be earth shattering. You must learn and adapt to satisfy the needs of society: the Native Americans did.