Student: 'I think we should be allowed to be the Roseburg Indians'

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- At Roseburg High School, quite a few students have said they are proud to be the Roseburg Indians, but with Governor Kitzhaber's veto of senate bill 215, RHS may need to find a new nickname.

About 15 years ago, Roseburg gave up its Native American mascot and logo.

The governor's veto means they may have to give up their name as well.

Superintendent Larry Parsons doesn't agree with the decisions that have been made by the state government. "We've always felt like we were not a part of the fight," he said. "There is no research that I have been able to identify, nor has anyone been able to give me, that says having a nickname only is harmful to kids' self-esteem."

Susan Ferris, spokeswoman for the Cow Creek Tribe said their philosophy on this issue is for schools to do what they feel is right.

RHS freshman Cameron Gelo doesn't want his new school to change the name. "I think that we should be allowed to be the Roseburg Indians because we have been for a while, we're not like, being derogatory towards the Indians."

Schools across Oregon would have until 2017 to change their Native American logos and mascots or face the loss of state funding.

While Superintendent Parsons says he respects the governor's decision to veto the bill, he doesn't believe the fight is over to keep 80 years of tradition alive as the Roseburg Indians.