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Indigenous-Themed Mascots

In a conversation with Sydney Kidd, Boise High School Principal Robb Thompson said he looked high and low for a letter the school had long maintained it received from a Native American tribe giving the green light to the school’s Indigenous-themed mascot, “the Braves.” He never found it, adding oomf to the argument for retiring the mascot. Today, Boise High is one of three Idaho high schools that have made that move in the last 13 months.

I’m thrilled for you to read Sydney’s story, which starts on page 5 and details how Teton, Nezperce and Boise high schools discontinued of the practice of treating Indigenous folks like caricatures or tokens. I’d only add that the move away from such mascots has broader significance for the times in which we live.

American history has been told largely through the lens of white, mostly affluent Americans. Contemporary social movements would make that lens look laughably out of focus if it weren’t for the fact that the way we tell the American story affects the lives, health, safety and prosperity of everybody else. Stories, symbols and words matter because they have the power to propel justice or stifle its advance.

Elsewhere in this paper, you’ll find more amazing stories. Starting on page 4, Sonora Birnie has a mesmerizing piece about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the overall mental health of Idahoans, and on page 6, Sonora returns with a story about proposed pesticide application rules that some say will bring Idaho in line with federal regulations, but critics say opens the door to more accidents and lackluster reporting.

Then, on page 7, Tracy Bringhurst writes about her tour of Boise’s latest erotic shop, Hustler Hollywood. It turns out that sex toys, gag gifts and other erotic materials are essentially recession-proof.

Finally, I’d like to bring your attention to your smartphone. The BW Smartcard app is now the Idaho Smartcard, and we’re hard at work bringing savings to you at your favorite shops and restaurants, and those shops a boost to advertising with Boise Weekly, the Idaho Press and other papers across the Treasure Valley. It’s a win-win-win situation. If you haven’t already, check your favorite app store and download it—it’s free.

—Harrison Berry, Editor

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