top of page

Not Your Mascot: Why Native Mascots Are Harmful (Ep. 7 Transcript and Show Notes)

To listen, click here.

Strong Athletic Podcast Episode 7: Not Your Mascot: Why Native Mascots Are Harmful

SHOW NOTES

In today’s episode we chat with April Fournier, who is an Early Childhood Educator and an Indigenous rights Activist. April discusses team names and mascots, specifically names and mascots that are racist and that objectify a group of people, in this case Indigenous People. April talks to us about the Washington NFL team that needs to change its name, the negative impact of having team names that are racist and hurtful and why this practice needs to change. April gives recommendations on how you can start to pay more attention and get involved in helping meaningful change happen. April and Nadia do some role playing on how you can bring up these topics on your team if your name or mascot are problematic. April also talks about making mistakes and how you move forward from something that you’ve done to a group of people, a teammate or a coach that is hurtful.

Find April Fournier:

  • On Instagram: @aprildgr8

  • A few of April’s favorite Instagram accounts to follow are:

  • @redhouseseries

  • @_illuminatives

  • @ndncollective

  • @indigenousrising

  • @niwrc

  • @iiycfamily (and many more, follow me and find them all, lol)

  • On Twitter: jumpymcg207

  • Online: https://www.aprilforportland.org/

  • The work:

  • Indigenous Mascot

  • American Psychological Association position on retiring native mascots, as recommended in 2005!!!! (15 YEARS AGO) https://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/indian-mascots

  • National Congress of American Indians position and evidence for changing the mascots: http://www.ncai.org/proudtobe

  • Indigenous Trauma

  • National Indigenous Women's Resource Center- https://www.niwrc.org/ An organization dedicated to ending and preventing violence against Indigenous women and children.

Strong Athletic Podcast Episode 7 SHOW TRANSCRIPTION

(00:00)

NADIA KEAN

Hey everybody. Welcome to the Strong Athletic Podcast. And more specifically, welcome to the first episode of season two. This is your host, Nadia Kean. In this podcast we study the science and art of coaching and being coached. We talk about why people get into sports, why they stay and also why they choose to leave. We put more focus on people who are on the fringe of sports, the ones that are less likely to have people paying attention to them, wanting them to stay. When coaches lack resources that they need to coach and athletes lack the resources that they need to learn sports can go from being empowering and fun to really frustrating. The Strong Athletic Podcast is a safe space for coaches and athletes to come to where they can learn more about coaching and learning and athleticism so that they can thrive in sports. In Season Two we’re going to continue with giving you feedback and methods for how you can coach better or learn better, and we’re also going to dive deeper into reasons athletes and coaches might not feel comfortable in their sport or what might be prohibiting them from learning or succeeding.

In today’s episode, I talk with April Fournier. April’s an early childhood educator, an Indigenous rights activist, one of the captains of Team Indigenous Rising, and also one of my absolutely favorite people to talk to about coaching. In today’s episode we discuss team names and mascots, and specifically names and mascots that are racist and that objectify a group of people. April talks to us about the Washington NFL team that needs to change its name, the negative impact of having team names that are racist and hurtful, and why this practice needs to change. April gives us recommendations on how you can start to pay more attention and get involved with helping to make meaningful change happen. We actually (laughs) do some role playing on how you can bring up these topics on your team if your name or mascot are problematic. April also talks about making mistakes and how you should move forward from something that you’ve done to a teammate or coach that’s hurtful.

We recorded this episode on July 4 and since that time there have been developments to the story and we’ll give you an update on what those changes are at the end of the podcast.

(Music by the Little Bicycles)

(02:09)

NADIA KEAN

Hey everybody, this is Nadia Kean, the host of the Strong Athletic Podcast and this is the first episode of season two. Welcome. And if you’re joining us for the first time, I really appreciate it. And if you’re joining us for the umpteenth time, thank you. Today, I have an extremely special guest and so I would like for you to introduce yourself.

APRIL FOURNIER

Thank you. My name is April Fournier. I also am known in the derbyverse as Jumpy McGee, so it just kind of depends on where you know me from, whether it’s the political-educational arena or the derbyverse. I go by both, I answer to both. Also, mom frequently happens both from teammates and my own children. (Both laughing)

NADIA KEAN

Awesome. Is that the last name that you were born with or is that your partner’s last name?

APRIL FOURNIER

That is my maiden name. So, yeah. That is actually my dad’s last name. So my dad is French Canadian and Irish and then my mom is Diné. And they met when my dad was in the Airforce. They met actually out in Arizona.

NADIA KEAN

Oh, okay.

APRIL FOURNIER

And he brought my mom back to Maine and Maine is where I’ve grown up.

NADIA KEAN

Oh, okay.

APRIL FOURNIER

But there are a lot of Fourniers around here.

NADIA KEAN

Oh, are there?

APRIL FOURNIER

Yes. (Laughs) In the Maine area, yeah. So, it’s pretty common out here.

NADIA KEAN

So, I think this is a really good time for us to talk about some of your focuses that have to do with sport but they don’t necessarily have to do with the playing of the sport. I would say that of all of my friends who give a shit and all of my friends who actually try to make change happen, that you’re one of them. I think that there’s a difference between being really angry about things that are going on in the world and also diverging that anger to action. Do you recall that time I called you after having a fight with that random guy at the bar? (Laughs)

APRIL FOURNIER

I do. (Laughs)

NADIA KEAN

So, I’ll tell y’all this since you weren’t there. I guess April wasn’t there either. But, my sister and I were sitting around an open fire at a bar and the people around us started asking us what we did. And I said, “I own a t-shirt company called Strong Athletic.” And then they asked me what it was for. And I said, “Well, you know, we like to support women in sports and queer people in sports". And the guy to my right, just like, expressionless face, not ironic at all was like, “Oh. Why do women need support in sport?” And I looked at him and I was like, “Are you serious? Is this an actual question?” And he was like, “Yeah. Women have equal opportunity and equal access in sport.” And I absolutely don’t agree with that. And so I told him that, and he was like, “It’s all about supply and demand.” And basically he was insinuating that people only want to watch cis men play sport. And I flipped out. And I was like, “Shake my hand.” And this was pre-COVID. (Both laughing) And I was like, “Shake my hand. Look me in the eye. Tell me your name.” (Laughs) And he told me his name. And then I was like, “Tell me your name again. Shake my hand. Look me in the eye." And I was like, “I never want to forget this moment. I never want to forget this moment.” (Both laughing) And everyone was watching this interaction. And it went from happy times at the bar to just me looking like I was about to kill this guy. And I was just so serious. And my sister was like, “Uh, Nadia… I think we should go.” And I was like, “Yeah. I think we should go.” And I was like, “Look me in the eye. I never want to forget this moment.” (April laughs) But I remember one of the things that pissed me off so bad about it was that I wasn’t redirecting my anger. So I was really, really mad at him, but I needed to take actionable steps to actually make it so that his theory of supply and demand was not true. And so I remember calling you and talking about the difference between being angry about something and trying to actually change it. April is going to be a guest on the podcast a lot this season, so just get used to hearing her voice.

APRIL FOURNIER