All voices matter in the Dartmouth logo debate [OPINION]

The long-simmering debate over whether to ditch the Dartmouth Indian name and logo for Dartmouth Town School sports teams may soon gain momentum. The special subcommittee on equality and diversity has agreed to hold a hearing next month to hear what the general public has to say about the controversy.

Several well-meaning residents and so-called experts have expressed their view that the name and logo are demeaning to Native Americans and should be replaced. A woman called my show to suggest that the teams are named after flowers, animals, or other non-human things. She said that deriving names and logos from human cultures or groups of people is insensitive. It is certainly an opinion. Tell that to the New England Patriots.

Members of the Wampanoag of Gay Head Tribe (Aquinnah) want to keep the names and logo. Tribal leaders believe that both are used with respect and dignity and are not demeaning. The logo, a silhouette of a Wampanoag warrior, was designed by a member of the tribe in 1974.

The tribe says the subcommittee only heard from witnesses who support a name and logo change, including tribes not recognized at the federal level, and did not seek the advice of the two nationally recognized tribes. Commonwealth Federal. Some Aquinnahs say only federally recognized tribes should be heard at the public hearing. I do not agree.

All residents of Dartmouth and members of tribes with ties to the city should be heard on this issue, whether or not the tribe is federally recognized. Aquinnah should encourage the subcommittee to listen to all voices with an opinion on this issue.

Barry Richard is the host of the Barry Richard Show at 1420 WBSM New Bedford. It can be heard on weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @ BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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