- Associated Press - Friday, May 8, 2015

SKOWHEGAN, Maine (AP) - Skowhegan Area High School will keep its Indians nickname despite efforts by some who say it’s insensitive and racist and should be changed.

The school committee voted 11-9 on Thursday to keep the nickname, drawing cheers and applause from some people attending the meeting.

The vote ended months of passionate debate on the issue.

Members of the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet and Micmac nations met with school officials last month to urge them to follow other state high schools that have dropped Indian-themed sports team mascots and nicknames.

Supporters of keeping the nickname say it’s not meant to be derogatory and represents pride in the area’s history.

Barry Dana, a former chief of the Penobscot tribe, says while disappointed in the vote’s outcome, he was impressed by the open process.

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