Oneida Nation honors school for changing mascot

By Jillian Marshall

May 15, 2013 Updated May 15, 2013 at 11:25 PM EDT

Cooperstown, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Just a few weeks remain that the Cooperstown Central School District will be known as the Redskins. Then, they will be the Hawkeyes, a change that comes with big donation.

Oneida Nation donated $10,000 to Cooperstown Central Schools at a Board of Education meeting Wednesday night after students led the charge to change their mascot from Red Skins to Hawkeyes.

The Board of Education voted to change the mascot in March.

Representatives of Oneida Nation say they were so moved by the mascot change they wanted to cover the costs of the athletic and mascot uniforms.

"We're not mascots, we're real people. We have families, we have children. We just want to be treated like other people," Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter said.

Halbritter hopes this will create a domino effect throughout school districts and professional sports.

"What this really signifies is that language really means things, symbols really mean things, and they can hurt," Halbritter said.

Cooperstown will officially become the Hawkeyes July 1.