New Dartmouth Indian Banner to Be Hoisted to the Rafters
A new banner honoring the Dartmouth High School Indian team name and logo will be hoisted to the rafters when the varsity boys basketball team hosts the Apponequet Lakers out on Bakerville Road this month.
The Dartmouth Indian has been through a lot recently but survived a town-wide referendum last year that some hoped would replace the Wampanoag woodland Indian caricature and the team name.
Voters kept the Indian logo, a rendering of a Wampanoag Indian warrior created by Clyde Andrews in 1973. Andrews is a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and a member of the Dartmouth High School Sports Hall of Fame.
In response to the strong support from the electorate for keeping the Indian, the town installed two plaques featuring the logo at Memorial Stadium Football Field in September 2022.
The new banner will be hoisted into place high above courtside at halftime during the Indians-Lakers game on January 31, 2023.
"As soon as the decision was made to maintain the Indian logo, we all agreed there is a need to ensure the logo demonstrates the district's (as well as the town's) recognition of and desire to honor indigenous people," said Dartmouth Schools Superintendent Dr. Bonny Gifford.
"I believe it is appropriate that the logo be celebrated," she said. "Since the logo is used primarily during athletic events, it makes perfect sense that a banner be hung in the gymnasium."
"The formal recognition events solidify the decision to keep the logo and reinforce our commitment to ensuring it is always a sign of honor," Gifford said.
Andrews was pleased with the decision to hoist the banner.
"The support of Wampanoag alumni of Dartmouth High School, members of the tribe, a very dedicated community of people, and the overwhelming vote in favor of the logo has been a humbling honor," he said.
Andrews said the "honor of creating the rendition that has lasted now for 50 years," displaying "pride and honor, makes a statement of respect of an image held in the eyes of the school and community for generations."