In the wake of the State Legislature passing, and Gov. Inslee signing the new ban on Native American mascots for public schools, the Kennewick School District has issued a statement regarding Kamiakin High School, whose mascot is the Braves.

Unlike many schools, Kamiakin was named after a legendary Yakama Nation leader, Chief Kamiakin.  Prior to the school opening in 1970-71, the District consulted with the tribe about honoring him.  The legacy portrayed by the school has always been respectful, and KaHS is known for it's academic and athletic excellence.

It is said some descendants of Chief Kamiakin were present at the school's dedication in West Kennewick.

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Now, faced with this new rule, the KSD has issued this statement, provided to us by Public Relations and Communications Lead Robyn Chastain:

"The Kamiakin High School name and mascot, the Braves, were selected to honor Chief Kamiakin. The district's intent is to request a meeting and consult with the Yakama National Tribal Council to seek their authorization. "

This would be an official authorization that would fit the criteria in the new bill.  Schools are allowed to keep a Native American mascot if:  they are on tribal land or adjacent to it;  a Native American tribe allows it;  or they have a long-standing history of such approval.

This formal authorization would be the strongest way to secure the legacy of the Brave Mascot.  No word as to when this meeting will happen, but many believe due to the long history of the school and its beginnings with the Yakama Nation, it could work in their favor.

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