John Gonzalez

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




The use of Native American names and mascots by professional and college sports teams has become a controversial issue. However, very litde research has investigated attitudes towards Native Americans, regarding relationships between team names and mascots on prejudice and discrimination. This study proposed that the multiple social categories created by manipulating the endorsement/opposition of Native mascots by Native and White college students at a university with a Native mascot, would allow for the identification of possible prejudice and discrimination based on race and the mascot issue. It was hypothesized that the manipulation of Native American Mascot Endorsement (NAME) in Native and White confederates would create a multiple in-group/out-group dynamic that would influence discriminatory behavior.

A series of 2 (Race) X 3 (NAME) between groups factorial ANOVA’s were conducted on ratings of the confederates by White college students. In addition, MANOVA’s were conducted on the ratings of the Native confederate by White college students. Results indicated that Native students at the University of North Dakota were more likely targets of racial prejudice and potential discrimination and this prejudice and discrimination would increase when the confederate’s opinion of the Fighting Sioux name and logo changed from endorsement to opposition. The results indicated that students at UND are engaging in racial prejudice and possible discrimination of Native students. This suggests that the continued use of the Fighting Sioux name and logo by the University of North Dakota may indirectly promote racial stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, and possibly lead to racism. Implications are discussed and future studies are suggested.