Yuma’s new mascot now has to be approved by commission

There are leaders in the clubhouse when it comes to selecting a new mascot for the Yuma schools.
However, Yuma-1 District leaders also have recently learned the district needs to go through the Commission on Indian Affairs to get its new mascot cleared, and get Yuma off the list of schools in violation of the new no Native Americans mascot law in Colorado.

Superintendent Dianna Chrisman made the report to the Yuma-1 Board of Education during its regular monthly meeting, Monday night at the district office.
She first reported about the recent survey results of students and community members.
The district received a total of 869 responses. The voting was as follows:
• Tribe, 467;
• Yetis, 238;
• Aggies, 66;
• Pioneers, 39;
• Bison, 32;
• Lightning, 24;
• Hunstmen, six.
Chrisman told the board she had reached out to the governor’s office to see if there was someway to find out if Tribe would end up being acceptable.
She said that is when she learned the state had implemented a process in September, for the district in violation to get into compliance. She said the district never received any information about the extra steps until then.
Now the schools have to go before the commission to demonstrate they are making the change.
Chrisman said the commission has a special meeting, via Zoom, planned for November 9, and there was an open slot the district could take to visit with the commission about Tribe.
“I’m pretty frustrated about this,” Chrisman told the board. “I did not realize this would be the process.”
The commission meets quarterly, and at least by the May meeting, Yuma-1 will have to be cleared for its new mascot by the commission. The November visit will be just to get feedback on the use of Tribe.
Earlier in Monday night’s meeting, Yuma resident John Gardner told the board he is in favor of Tribe as the new mascot.

He noted the family business had paid school taxes for a 100 years, and a fourth generation of his family was about to graduate from YHS. Gardner said the definition of “Tribe” is about a group of people, and there is nothing specific about it to Native Americans.
Chrisman also told the board that the district’s legal counsel told her it feels the chances are good for getting Tribe accepted.