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Menominee Indian tribal chairwoman blasts new mascot law

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The head of the Menominee Indian tribe has blasted the state's new law on public school Indian mascots.

Laurie Boivin -- a former tribal chairwoman who regained the post last weekend -- represented all 11 Wisconsin tribes in an annual speech to the state Legislature Thursday afternoon.

The new Republican law virtually gutted a complaint process established by Democrats in 2009. Those offended by Indian team names and logos can still complain to the state -- but they need to submit petitions instead of being a single complainant.

The administration is now handling the cases instead of the Department of Public Instruction. And it's up to the complainants to prove they were victimized, instead of school boards having to prove they didn't discriminate.

Boivin told lawmakers that other victims of discrimination don't need to submit petitions. She also said Native American youngsters should not be subjected to inaccurate representations of their cultures.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)