The Banks School District has trademarked its new Native American mascot imagery to replace the old Banks Braves logo.
The district's mascot will remain the Braves, but instead of using a Native American man's head as the image, the district will use a new logo they came up with in collaboration with the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and Nike.
The redesign of the mascot image cost the district no money. The district did have to pay to repaint the mascot all over the school district, however.
The updated imagery resulted from a years-long debate about the use of Native American mascots in Oregon high schools. Eventually, the Oregon Board of Education decided that districts could continue to use the mascots as long as the tribe closest to the district agreed. The CTGR includes the Kalapuya tribe, which inhabited the Banks area before white settlement.
The old mascot image was not representative of the Kalapyua tribe, so the CTGR and the district decided to update it.
The new logo uses the image of mountains (representative of the nearby Coast Range) to create two back-to-back Bs (for Banks Braves) that form the shape of an arrowhead (representing the Kalapuya tribe). The logo also incorporates a traditional Native American design.
As in the past, local groups and businesses will be able to use the Braves imagery for free, but the district is now asking that anyone wishing to use the trademarked logos review the trademark licensing agreement and sign paperwork agreeing to appropriate use. The paperwork can be found at the school district office, 12950 N.W. Main St. in Banks.
Banks School District Superintendent Jeff Leo said he wanted to make it clear the district doesn't want to limit access to the images but it's important the mascot be used respectfully and not altered in any way.
"We need to ensure that the integrity of the agreement is being honored and we need to be able to enforce that if needed," Leo said. "This agreement between the Grand Ronde Tribe and the district has built a partnership and we want people to understand the importance of that."
Alterations of the images or other problems could mean groups and organizations won't be able to use the mascot in the future, he said.
"We are not trying to make this a difficult process, but the respect we have for the agreement and the work we did with the Grand Ronde Tribe is very important to the School District," Leo said.
Contact the Banks School District Office at 503-324-8591 with any questions.
By Stephanie Haugen
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times
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