The Camanche School Board recently voted to discontinue use of their current school mascot, The Indians. I am presenting a case for a new mascot: The Camanche Beavers.
The Beaver would provide Camanche students an important ecological and historical link, a mascot with a story unique to Eastern Iowa on the Upper Mississippi.
Ed Britton’s 2019 Clinton Herald article, "Beaver Island and Those Who Came Before Us", notes that the Sauk and Fox tribes occupied Beaver Island long before white settlers arrived. Mr. Britton also discusses the many lifestyles and livelihoods Beaver Island sustained throughout the years, and the ongoing $10 million federal project to strengthen Beaver Island as part of the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.
The Camanche Beavers would provide the perfect connection for students to learn about the local history and ecology of the Mississippi River, a world marvel that those of us who grew up along the river often take for granted.
In a recent reader's letter, the author wrote that when, as a child, she asked why their school was called the Indians, she was told that Indians were an immensely proud, loyal, and dedicated people. Did the author ever seek more information on the many Native American tribes and cultures that “The Indians” lump together? Or was her curiosity overshadowed by the intense pride felt for a school mascot? The author also writes that her mightiness and strength came from the Native Americans “The Indians” are named after.
Are we to teach our children that their strengths lie in a mascot, and not within their own abilities? To that, I say: Go Beavers!