What’s in a name?

Photo taken by Angel Peña

by Nevaeh Fuentez, Advertising Manager & Staff Writer

Nevaeh Fuentez

With Thanksgiving around the corner, it is important to recognize and talk about those who were, and continue to be impacted by the history of it. Indigenous people have continuously been dehumanized and reduced to nothing more than a fictional caricature or something schools are named after. 

The Indian Trail name contributes to this problem. With a population of 2,085, less than 0.2% of the students identify as Native American. Why have our school named “Indian Trail”? Many believe it’s because there was an “Indian trail” nearby and it pays honor to that, but in reality, the name has become mockish. 

There was a tribe in Kenosha called the Potawatomi, and they were here centuries before colonists came.  In 1833, they were forced to give up their land to the U.S government and they moved north into what is known now as Door County. Referring to all of the people that suffered at the hands of Kenosha founders as “Indian” is disrespectful not only to the Indigenous people that died for Kenosha to exist, but also every Native person in America. 

Ignoring this blatant disrespect does not benefit anyone. While some may not see the name “Indian Trail” as harmful because of other examples like the Washington Redskins it is unfair to say because how many Native Americans do you really know? You may know one or maybe two if you are lucky but the harsh reality is most still reside on the reservations colonizers pushed them onto. 

Part of the issue is that Indigenous people have been characterized to the point of extinction. Our culture has been turned into a costume and therefore we as people have been deemed as fictional. With very few Natives to speak out about the disrespect, the few that have been speaking out are shouted over. Naming a school “Indian Trail” when Indian isnt even the correct term isn’t honoring anyone. It’s degrading. It makes everyone involved look uneducated. 

We are in a newer, more progressive time so why are we still reverting back to the ignorant language?