“Older and wiser voices can help you find the right path,” said Jimmy Buffet, whom offered a profound statement to the topic of going down the right path.
Mt. Edgecumbe High School (MEHS) is now a state-run boarding school established by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1947, after the United States government abandoned the facilities post-World War II.
The movement, “Kill the Mascot, Save the People,” founded by my good friend from Minto, offered an opinion that did not fully comprehend it’s historical significance. Here’s why.
MEHS was founded on principle. That principle is said to this very day by many of our parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, the list can continue. “Go get your education, make our family proud,” has been said by the decades of MEHS Alumni. To this day, MEHS is known for its fundamental values of creating the next generation of leaders within the State of Alaska. Lieutenant Governor, Byron Mallot, CEO of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Roald Helgesen, and my biggest Hero, my grandfather whom I share his namesake, Anthony “Bone” Lekanof. These men portray what it means to be a Brave, and bear the cap and gown as we have worn to this day.
Indigenous people are one of the most fortunate people in the nation. As a native man myself, I am proud to say we are one of the most fortunate natives in the country whom aren’t facing, “less than or inhuman treatment,” as said in the Kill the Mascot article. We as Alaskans and Native people are given the graciousness of Indian Health Services access to quality healthcare. The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 gives Alaskans an opportunity to a rightful democratic process of electing representatives to their Alaska Native Corporations. Lastly, the conspiracy theory offered by my good friend from Minto, claims that the White House is spreading propaganda to hurt the native people, which is in fact misleading and untrue. The political arena of the 2016 Presidential Election has poisoned the very way we interact with each other, and in hindsight, has made our country more sensitive to speak civilly about these issues.
Forefathers and mothers of MEHS created the mascot with the endearment of future generations. Like many well-established organizations, there is always a backstory to the reasoning why a mascot is, what it is. Now elders of MEHS (Class of 1948) have embodied what it means to be a brave through our mascot. With their collective design, it has shown today’s generation on the importance of the mascot. For it gives a humble reminder, that once you’re a Brave, you’ll always be a Brave.