On May 16th, 2019, The State of Maine made history by passing LD 944 An Act to Ban Native American Mascots in All Public Schools, the first legislation of its kind in the country. For Tribal Nations in Maine, the landmark legislation marked an end to a decades long struggle to educate the public on the harms of Native American mascotry. Fighting Indians chronicles the last and most contentious holdout in that struggle, the homogeneously white Skowhegan High School, known for decades as “The Home of the Indians.” This is the story of a small New England community forced to reckon with its identity, its sordid history, and future relationship with its indigenous neighbors. It is a story of a small town divided against the backdrop of a nation divided where the “mascot debate” exposes centuries old abuses while asking if reconciliation is possible.
“…not only a good film, it’s an important one… This is a rare glimpse of grassroots-level democracy
at work to achieve a peaceful and just end of a longstanding slur against Native Peoples in Maine.”
~Suzan Shown Harjo
“The most powerful film we have seen on the subject of using Native American people for sports
mascots… unravels every excuse and argument made by those who falsely claim that their sports
mascots are honoring Native peoples.”
~Coalition of Natives and Allies
“‘Fighting Indians’ is a powerful and moving film which captures the contentious landscape that communities navigate when retiring harmful Native “themed” school mascots while elevating tribal sovereignty and championing Native voices...”
~National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)
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