On Tuesday June 21, 2022, the Salisbury Post published a Post Opinion article titled, My turn, Douglas Isham: How sad for Catawba to remove the Indian logo, by Douglas Isham, citizen of the town of Salisbury. We understand the nature of opinion pieces in newspapers and the rights of the author of those opinions to freely express those opinions in this medium. However, the piece contains numerous inaccuracies presented as fact by Mr. Isham.
In response to Mr. Isham’s article, we provide relevant and detailed facts regarding our historical relationship, as we recognize that Catawba College and the Catawba Nation have been intrinsically linked since the founding of the College in 1851.
Most importantly, the College and the Nation have worked together over the past year to further strengthen our relationship and our athletic nickname remains the Catawba Indians with the continued support of the Nation to do so.
After reviewing the facts below, we believe this information much better demonstrates our commitment to recognizing the invaluable contributions that the First Americans of the Catawba Nation have made and continue to make to Catawba College, our region and our country than any logo or image could ever do it. . The College and the Nation are mutually committed to continuing to explore new initiatives together so that we can further expand our longstanding partnership.
Finally, we are extremely grateful for the longstanding community support the citizens of Salisbury and Rowan County have given to our college, athletic programs and student-athletes for nearly 100 years and look forward to welcoming our extended community on campus again this fall. to encourage our sports teams and participate in our many events and public offers.
- Do: Catawba College was founded in 1851 and was first physically established in Catawba County, North Carolina. The committee appointed by the founding trustees to choose the school’s name chose Catawba College “in view of the school’s location in Catawba County, which was bordered on the east by the Catawba River, along shores from which the Catawba Indians once roamed” (Dedmond, 1989, p. 33).
- Do: Catawba College began competitive athletics in the early 20e century and adopted the athletic nickname Indians (Dedmond, 1989, p. 92). The College’s Athletic nickname continues the use of Indians, now Catawba Indians, even today.
- Do: In August 2005, the NCAA Executive Committee issued guidelines on adopting a new policy, effective February 1, 2006, prohibiting NCAA colleges and universities “from displaying mascots, nicknames or images of hostile and abusive racial/ethnic/national origin” and explicitly listed Catawba College and Indian nickname as a member institution affected by this policy (NCAA, 2005). Prior to the NCAA’s decision, the College had already formed a task force and taken proactive steps in previous years by removing the College mascot and removing all renderings of Native Americans on campus, citing that depictions n Were not Catawba Indians and their culture.
- Do: In October 2005, the Catawba College Board of Trustees authorized a formal appeal to the NCAA for continued use of the athletic moniker, Indians. The late Chief Gilbert Blue of the Catawba Nation spoke directly with NCAA Appeals Committee Chairman Dr. Bernard Franklin and voiced his support for the College continuing to use Indians as the sports nickname of the Middle School. In May 2006, the NCAA ruled that Catawba College could use the athletic nickname, Catawba Indians without penalty, citing support from the Catawba Nation as justification for continued use. The College continues to use the athletic nickname Catawba Indians to this day (Gocatawbaindians.com, May 30, 2006).
- Do: In 2007, Catawba College and the Catawba Nation reached an agreement for the continued use of the athletic nickname, Catawba Indians, in exchange for a full scholarship for one Catawba Nation student every four years. This scholarship agreement remained in effect throughout the 2021-22 academic year, until the number of scholarships was increased this year. No other symbol or logo has been included as part of this agreement.
- Do: In the spring of 2022, Catawba College and the Catawba Nation entered into a new agreement to provide a full scholarship on an annual basis to one citizen of the Catawba Nation and mutually committed to continue to strengthen our partnership through avenues and additional educational opportunities in the new future. . No other conditions were part of this agreement (Salisbury Post, April 8, 2022).
- Do: In April 2022, Catawba College announced the return of the College’s historic Block C as the College’s official sports logo. The historic Block C logo has served the College for the longest time in its history (Catawba College, April 26, 2022).
- Do: The College administration was responsible for re-adopting the historic Block C as the College’s official athletic logo. Catawba College students have not petitioned or requested the removal of a previous sports logo, and the previous collection of sports logos used from the 1980s to 2022 have not been removed due to a request from the NCAA, the Catawba Nation or any other entity or agreement. Additionally, previous sports logos were not retired as they included elements often associated with Native American imagery. Instead, the re-adoption of the historic Block C was done as part of an overall branding strategy the College has undertaken over the past year (Salisbury Post, May 4, 2022).
- Do: As the College has not had a sponsored mascot since the early 2000s, the College began the process of exploring adopting an official mascot. Regardless of mascot adoption, the College’s athletic nickname remains the Catawba Indians with continued support from the Catawba Nation.
- Do: Catawba Nation’s Two Kings Casino is located in King’s Mountain, North Carolina, not South Carolina. The Catawba Nation is instead located in South Carolina (Twokingscasino.com).
Writing on behalf of the College, Dr. Jared Tice has served as Senior Vice President for College Experience and Dean of Students at Catawba College since 2018.