BOISE, Idaho — The iconic Boise High School “welcome” rock -– that stands in front of the school and is engraved with a profile of a Native American -– will soon be auctioned off to the highest bidder, as part of the school’s mascot change, according the Boise School district officials.
Earlier this month, we reported Boise High School changing their Braves mascot to one they felt is more in line with the school’s values, and one less offensive to those of Native American descent.
The school’s original mascot, the Braves, showcases a Native American-themed caricature that the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, in a letter to the Idaho State Board of Education, said displays “racial misappropriation.”
“The Braves was instituted some 100 years ago. Things have changed since then. And the world has changed,” said Dan Hollar, spokesperson for the Boise School District. He said the reasoning behind Boise High School’s change was “from a caricature to a character trait.”
“No longer referring to Boise High as the Braves, but as Brave,” said Hollar.
It’s only a one letter difference, but it’s a complete change in meaning for Idaho’s Native American tribes; in particular, the Shoshone-Bannock tribes, which wrote a position paper to the Idaho State Board of Education, requesting the mascots of eight Idaho schools be changed.
The schools they requested change their mascots are:
Salmon Savages, Salmon
Salmon River Savages, Riggins
Teton High School Redskins, Driggs
Pocatello High School Indians, Pocatello
Shoshone Indians, Shoshone
Preston Indians, Preston
Buhl Indians, Buhl
Boise High School Braves, Boise
“If you put yourself in their shoes -- and see the issue through their eyes -- it’s disrespectful to them,” said Hollar.
Now, as part of the efforts to update the Boise High mascot, the school and the district have put the school’s well-known “welcome rock” up for public bid.
“Sealed bids will be received by the District until 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 4, 2019. Proceeds will be used to enhance Boise High's Native American curriculum,” Hollar explained in and e-mail.
For instructions on how to submit a bid, you can visit: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1X92y665RF0aT5jogppGwjuoJsiWESU5f?usp=sharing [drive.google.com
Boise School District officials say the change will take a number of years -- in order to change sports uniforms and mascot logos throughout the school.
(Photo courtesy: Boise School District)