Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 07-23-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET | VALLEY BREEZE | JULY 23-29, 2020 WOONSOCKET / BLACKSTONE 11 make the change," he said, adding that he figured it was only right. On July 14, a post appeared on the Woonsocket Redskins Facebook page requesting suggestions for a new name. Commenters suggested everything from the "Warriors" to the "Rockets" to the "Wolverines." Some individuals suggested they continue with a Native American theme and go with "Chiefs," a name that has also drawn criticism in some communities. Greene said the new name will be announced later this week. In Glocester, residents weighed in this week on their own debate over the longtime Ponaganset mas- cot, the Chieftains. Last week, Supt. Michael Barnes told WPRI 12 that he received emails and comments from community members requesting a conversation about a name change. School Committee co-Chairwoman Shelley Pezza said this week that Barnes was misquoted and there is no truth behind statements that the schools are considering a name change. Barnes did not respond to requests this week from The Breeze for com- ment. Ponaganset's long-standing Chieftains logo depicts the head of a Native American man wearing a feathered headdress not traditional to local tribes. To her knowledge, said Pezza, the mascot, which has reigned over Ponaganset High School and Middle School for decades, has not received backlash from the community. "It has not been brought up in the past," she said. Pezza declined to comment when asked if she would consider changing the mascot's name at a later date. Members of the Ponaganset com- munity weighed in on the subject online, most opposed to the name change citing tradition and pride. Ponaganset High School and Middle School are located on Nipmuc ances- tral lands in Scituate. Native American leader and activist Raymond Watson questioned which "Chieftains" the school is honoring. Watson said Nipmuc chiefs were killed, enslaved, indentured, and forced onto reservations while their land was stolen from them and never returned. He called the logo's depiction inac- curate for the headdress, saying he disapproves of the image of a behead- ed Native American chief, "which is outrageous because that's what colo- nists actually did to the local chiefs: behead them." "What about this name and logo could ever have been considered respectful of or honoring to the local chief or nations?" Watson said. NAME CHANGE From Page One Members of the Blackstone-Millville Knights of Columbus recently held a food drive at St. Augustine Church located in Millville, Mass. Pictured presenting a donation of $350 from Mass FOP Lodge 28 are, from left, Grand Knight TIMOTHY RYAN, Capt. ARNOLD LARSON and Past President of Lodge 28 Sgt. GARY LAPIERRE with State Rep. MICHAEL J. SOTER, District 8. Women's Business Council hosts networking night July 28 LINCOLN – The Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce's Women's Business Council will host a Networking Night at Troop PVD Restaurant, 60 Valley St., Providence, on Tuesday, July 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. This will be an in-person network- ing event. Masks are required. For more information or to register, visit https://tinyurl.com/y4vm8528 .

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