Our little town has a cute little summer festival that I can no longer support. Before I comment further, read the article from the paper:
Serving the communities of Pecatonica, Seward, Winnebago, Durand
June 15th, 2006
Volume 133, Number 24
Peeketolika Festival mascot naming winner announced
Pecatonica – The Pecatonica Improvement Association held a name the Peeketolika Mascot Contest at the Pecatonica Schools. The festival features an Indian Theme. Sixteen names were submitted with Tommy TeePee being chosen the winner. The name was submitted by Jeffrey Baker and he will receive a bag of coins on the children’s stage, in the Family TeePee, at the festival that will be held on June 23 and 24 at the Winnebago County Fairgrounds. The mascot will be played by members of the Pec Playhouse Youth Group. Other names submitted were: Chief Thunderbolt, Chief Magnifico, T.P. Pete, Petecolicico, Chief Pec Man, River Runner, Chief Peeketolika, Chief Keto, Chief Peeketo, Ronnoc, Noidam, Tommy Tee Pee, How-ee, Chief Featherhead, Chief Pecahotas, chief Wanna Win. The festival is sponsored by the P.I.A. for the purpose of offering not for profit groups to fund raise.
The Peeketolika Festival mascot’s new name is Tommy TeePee. Shown is local student Jessica Barkdoll in the tee-pee and headdress. Tommy TeePee will be a featured attraction at the Peeketolika Festival on June 23 and 24.
I will not support the Peeketolika Festival solely because of their mascot “Tommy TeePee”. I find it incredibly offensive and bigoted and will not attend the event. I want to clarify that while events such as Festa Italiana and the Swedish Midsommer Festival are fun they do not promote degrading stereotypes against the wishes of the people they are trying to celebrate.
Shame on Pecatonica Improvement Association for promoting this
Shame on Pec Playhouse for participating
Shame on the Winnebago County Fair Board for allowing it
Shame on the teachers who didn’t stop this
Shame on the Pecatonica School Board for allowing such a contest promoting and teaching our children how to be racists. Racism is not a game.
The United States Commission on Civil Rights
Commission Statement on the Use of Native American Imagesand Nicknames as Sports Symbols Issued: April 13, 2001