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The Vancouver Board of Education voted Monday night to recommend school boards province-wide place a ban on aboriginal-themed mascots.

It's a move that would take teams called the Braves, the Indians or the Chiefs off the playing field and urge schools to replace them with more culturally sensitive representations.

The board offered overwhelming support for the motion, which they will bring to the annual general meeting of British Columbia's trustee association in late April.

It would then be up to the individual schools to decide if they want to go ahead with a ban.

The "mock Indian" dances, tomahawk chops and drum beating that associate the sacred practice of becoming a warrior with "the hoopla of a high-school pep rally" trivialize aboriginal culture, according to documents submitted to the board.

"I'm pleased that trustees agreed to take it forward to the provincial trustee association level precisely so that that dialogue can begin," said Jane Bouey, the trustee who brought the motion forward.

"These negative images, symbols, and behaviours play a crucial role in distorting and warping aboriginal children's cultural perceptions of themselves as well as non-aboriginal children's attitudes toward aboriginal peoples," read the supporting documents, compiled by Ms. Bouey.

Ms. Bouey said that a request of the community and recent attention to aboriginal achievement made her introduce the motion.

"We're in the process in this province of signing aboriginal enhancement agreements with the aboriginal communities that we work with or reside upon and to be at the same time having mascots that many feel are belittling and humiliating doesn't take us forward," she said.

The high-school graduation rate among aboriginal students in B.C. sits around 50 per cent.

Ms. Bouey said that most of the stereotype-promoting mascots still in use belonged to schools outside the VSB, but that she also intended to introduce a motion that would make it board policy not to allow them.

The board's recommendation goes a step further than a handful of individual Canadian schools that have questioned and nixed the mascots.

Joe Raider, the aboriginal mascot of Chippewa Intermediate and Secondary Schools in North Bay, Ont., will be replaced after a raft of complaints, its school board declared earlier this month. Officials from the Chippewa and Nipissing First Nations discussed the buckskin-donning, headband-wearing mascot and decided it was offensive to their culture, local media reported. While superintendents for Near North District School Board said all their mascots may be subject to change, the issue has been polarizing. Students are protesting against the move with Save Joe Raider! a 1,364 member Facebook group.

High-school students in Morden, Man., walked out of class in protest after officials dropped their caricatured Mohawk mascot in 2004, following a two-year campaign led by a student and criticisms from a local aboriginal chief.

Woodstock High School in Woodstock, N.B., rebranded its athletic team the Thunder in 2005 after deeming the old name, the Warriors, offensive to aboriginals.

Meanwhile, professional sports leagues have held fast to their first nations mascots - with some making just a few tweaks.

The Cleveland Indians have said their grinning red-faced Chief Zee, donning a single-feather headband, is used in honour of American native groups, not prejudice, though they introduced a more innocuous purple bird named Slider as their on-field mascot in 1990.

The National Football League's Washington Redskins and the National Hockey League's Chicago Blackhawks have held fast to their logos of a headdress-wearing chief.

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