ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC)— Local school districts are beginning their mascot-changing process, including Canandaigua City School District which is approaching their second survey cycle to select their new school nickname and logo concept. Avon Central School District is another school in the selection process.

Avon is known for their Braves mascot, depicting a Native American. They’re currently consulting both the Avon community and the Seneca Nation about how they should proceed. Superintendent Dr. Ryan Pacatte said at first, they were surprised by the timing and strong wording of communications. This is due to the State Department of Education not allowing the term “Brave” or “Braves” which over time the school has made positive associations with.

The school district is one of many working to make the change, knowing new guidelines will mean also doing away with school apparel with old logos. They’re putting together a stakeholder group to help decide what their new mascot concept will be. That group will then come together in the next couple of weeks and meet throughout the summer and fall of next year.

Seneca Nation president Rick Armstrong Senior says he’s been following along with the discussion and vote of the State Board of Regents. Although trophies and legacy items may remain as is, Pacatte hopes the change will reflect the community’s desires too.

“I think there’s a balance to be struck between preserving history and recognizing how important that is while at the same time not diminishing the opportunity to move forward on a positive note,” he says.

The president of the Seneca Nation responded to action taken by some of these schools saying quote

“The Seneca Nation closely followed the discussions, and eventual vote by the New York State Board of Regents, regarding the use of Indigenous names, logos, and imagery by public schools within New York. Respect for Native people and our history should always be the expectation, not the exception – in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in society. In many ways, the Board of Regents vote, and many of the changes that will result from the vote, are long overdue.”

While Avon is still in the process of selecting a stakeholder group, Canandaigua has narrowed down their mascot concept selection to seven mascots. Their next survey begins June 2nd at 3 p.m.