It defies imagination to believe that the Dartmouth Indian image was intended as anything less than a glorification of the stereotypical savage warrior.
That no wording is necessary to define the exact meaning of a face, with what is easily recognized as war paint, supports the interpretation that the main identifying feature of Native Americans is a cultural affinity for fierce fighting. This is an undeniable insult to a people with diverse and varied customs and rituals.
That this image is not as flagrantly pejorative as so many others that have been utilized by schools and teams does not justify the continuing use by the town of Dartmouth. To anyone who has been exposed to thousands of movies and televised sporting events the Dartmouth image, no doubt, conjures up a stereotypical Native American, with unrelenting hostility to their opponents.
Living on the East Coast of the United States probably provides a degree of justifiable ignorance as to how Native Americans were treated and dehumanized primarily in the west, through all of American history.
Our textbooks barely honor the positive qualities and individualism of the many tribes that inhabited the North American continent. Just as all indigenous tribes were essentially grouped together in our movies and textbooks as provocative and aggressive the Native American logos cannot be categorized as “honoring” or “denigrating.” They all convey a negative image, even if decent people had no such intended message.
— Betty Ussach, Dartmouth