WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - It’s been almost 24 hours since North High School in Wichita announced its new mascot: the Redhawks

The announcement comes nearly two years after the Wichita Board of Education voted to drop the high school’s old mascot, the Redskins, after deeming it offensive to Native Americans and Native American culture. Dal Domebo was on the committee that pushed for the decision. 

“A small part of me knew eventually as a society we would come to this point to where things like this would eventually change or at least be on the table,” Domebo said. 

Domebo is also the chair of the Board of Trustees at the Mid-America All-Indian Museum in Wichita. He said the term “redskins” did not start out as offensive but became derogatory over time. 

“Rather than say, ‘I've got five Indian scalps,’ they would say, ‘I've got five redskins,’” he said. “And the red comes from the fact that, obviously, if you were to scalp somebody, obviously you're taking off part of their head, which obviously everybody knows when you pierce the skin, it bleeds.” 

The Kansas Board of Education voted last month to recommend all schools with Native American-related mascots change them within the next five years. Domebo said it is “something that has to be done.” 

“We have to evolve as a society to be able to become a better society, a more productive society,” he said. 

He said he hopes other schools follow North High’s lead. 

“Most of the time, it's the smaller school districts and the smaller towns that have had this type of mascot, and the entire town rallies around it, that would like to keep those types of names,” Domebo said. 

The announcement about the change to Redhawks from North High has come with mixed reactions. Wichita Public Schools said its timing had nothing to do with the State Board’s recent vote. 

“I think it's good to preserve the history, but I think changing the mascot’s name is not going to hurt the history,” Wichita community member Lisa Ford said.