Montague residents vote to keep, but alter Turners Falls High School ‘Indians’ mascot

Voters approved the measure 1,233 to 432

MONTAGUE, Mass. (WWLP) – Montague residents voted to retain the “Indians” mascot for Turners Falls High School, but alter the image to be more consistent with indigenous cultures in the region.

Montague Town Clerk Debra Bourbeau told 22News voters approved the measure 1,233 to 432.

Montague Registrar Jay Dipucchio told 22News that voter turnout for one precinct was likely indicative for that of the entire town.

“Voter turnout in the sixth precinct was 30%,” Dipucchio said.  “That may be a bellwether for the rest of town.”

The polls closed at 7:00 p.m. Monday, but Montague uses paper ballots,which take more time to count.

The Gill-Montague Regional School District removed the Indians Mascot earlier this year, but many alums and town residents want to keep the Indian mascot as a matter of tradition.  The supporters were successful in putting the following question on a town-wide ballot:

We advise that Turners Falls High School retain its Indian logo but alter the image to be more consistent with indigenous cultures in our region.  We also advise that the Gill-Montague School District implement this change in conjunction with the expansion of its curriculum to include Native American history and culture, collaborating with tribes and Indian organization in the region in this effort.”

The question is non-binding and the final decision still rests with the Gill-Montague Regional School Committee.

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