Friday, October 31, 2008

West Hill Warriors Logo Controversy

A move to replace the West Hill Warrior name and logo has sparked a controversy that has spilled over into the pages of Canada's major Newspapers, radio and Television stations.

Following concerns raised by teachers at the school that the logo and name do not meet TDSB's non discrimination policy, school Trustee Nadia Bello has proposed a review of the team identifiers at West Hill C.I.

This has sparked a protest on the social networking site Facebook.

On the site, Tom Chatsworth, the group's creator defends the groups purpose this way:

"For over 50 years, West Hill C.I. has not only shaped the minds of its students, but has also instilled in them, in us, a strong work ethic, and a sense of pride. Pride for our community, pride for who we are and pride for where we came from … and that's we call Warriors Pride!

"We are, and always will be, West Hill Warriors!

"This is our school. This is your school. … and we are, the West Hill Warriors!

"Our new school Trustee, Nadia Bello, and a small number of politically correct activists, have taken it upon themselves to attack what is our history, your history; and our traditions, your traditions."

Not all of the over 900 members agree.

As Nafees Haider writes...

"I don't think a lot of people understand why Natives want to distance themselves from the term "Warrior". Native's were NOT warriors or fighters, they were very peaceful.

"Cowboy movies during the 20th century portrayed these people as living in tipis, wearing war bonnets or feathers in their hair, riding horses, brandishing war lances, and more. As a result of this, the common assumption is that all Native people were like those portrayed in films.

"The image of the Native Warrior was used as means of propaganda, the Native Warrior was usually shown as a fierce and formidable threat to civilized society, usually depicted bare-chested and brandishing a war lance or some primal weapon. Long before the First Nations Act, the Native "warrior" was not promoted as:

"a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness, as in politics or athletics"

"They were seen as the epitome of the savagery that had to be courageously overcome by "progressive elements" of the West.

"Need a modern day comparison? If your still not sure why it's a big deal for them to dissassociate themselves from the "warrior" image? It's like saying all Muslims or anyone of middle eastern or Indian decent are terrorists. The Native Warrior is simply a bad STEREOTYPE. Just like the old Picaninny and black face caricatures and cartoons back in the 30's and 40's.

"The logo needs to go. The name should stay. That's just my two cents."

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