MONTVILLE (AP) - For decades the Montville High School athletic teams have competed as the â€śIndiansâ€ť with the blessing of the Mohegans, the Native American tribe that traces its local history back centuries and today operates one of the worldâ€™s biggest casinos.
Then last week, the Mohegan Tribe announced that it no longer supports the use of Indian-related team names.
The reversal has unsettled many in the southeastern Connecticut town, which has considered itself immune to controversies stirred by Native American mascots elsewhere because of its close ties to the federally recognized tribe.
The tribe and the school system have communicated over the years to ensure the name honors American Indians and is not used in a derogatory way. The mayor, Ronald McDaniel, said the school system will follow up with the tribe but the name has never been a source of friction.
â€śI donâ€™t personally find it offensive,â€ś said McDaniel, a Democrat.