BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — With the approval of new rules by the New York State Board of Regents Tuesday, several Western New York schools will be banned from using Native American names and imagery.

Multiple schools said they plan to institute changes soon.

News 4 has reached out to every district that could be affected by the new rules and will include their responses below.

Tonawanda Warriors

The changes: Tonawanda City Schools Superintendent Dr. Timothy Oldenburg said he is preparing the district to change its logo.

“We’re committed to following those regulations, those changes,” Dr. Oldenburg said. “We’re a district that’s going to comply and we’re going to do very good work working with our stakeholders, our community, and again, most importantly our students in determining what our next steps are.”

Salamanca Warriors

The changes: Salamanca, which has a large population of Indigenous students, has been reviewing its identity.

“We have been involved in a lengthy process reviewing our identity,” Salamanca Superintendent Dr. Mark Beehler said. “The Warriors, and our logo — a historically accurate depiction of a Seneca Native American.”

He also provided a timeline of events regarding the district’s review process, which can be seen at this link.

Jamestown Red Raiders

The changes: According to Jamestown Superintendent Dr. Kevin Whitaker, Jamestown Public Schools are reviewing the options available for a new name after changing its logo two years ago.

“I met with representatives from the NYS Education Department, and they were quite clear that ‘Red Raiders’ was not going to be acceptable to the commissioner,” Dr. Whitaker said. “Since that time, we have formed a committee and have charted out a plan that includes gathering ideas from our constituent groups — parents, students, community members, alumni, and others.”

Dr. Whitaker said this plan includes time to gather ideas, narrow that list to a smaller number, and then a vote. The school plans to continue to use its “big cat” logo, which was adopted in a 2021 update in an effort to remove references to Indigenous peoples.

“We were fortunate to have been able to work closely with the Seneca Nation during that process where they generously provided tours of the cultural center as well as perspectives on historical marginalization that the committee found quite impactful,” Dr. Whitaker said.

He said that Jamestown students are “important to this process” and said they will have a chance to weigh in when the time comes.

“As per the regulation, we will need to make that decision during the next school year in time to transition over to the new nickname,” he added. “Our more expensive changes (such as the football field end zone and verbiage around the sidelines) will be completed before June of 2025.”

West Seneca West Indians

The changes: A spokesperson for West Seneca Schools said the district is committed to continuing to phase out any uniforms with the “Indian” logo or name and will be canvasing students at the high school for mascot ideas.

“The W logo, on the West Senior field and in the gym, has acted as West’s transitional mascot/symbol,” a statement from the district said. “Along with being in the process of phasing out the Native American logo and the use of the image or mention of ‘Indian,’ students at West Senior have been asked to come up with new mascot ideas for the school and will become part of the creative process that takes them from ‘W’ to a new mascot.”

Cheektowaga Warriors

The changes: Cheektowaga Superintendent Scott Zipp said the district will be following the lead of NYSED regarding the regulations.

“Cheektowaga Central is going to make sure we are following these regulations and doing what’s right within our community,” Zipp said. “We will have a resolution going to the BOE and then working this summer with our school community and stakeholders to determine our timeframe as we make this transition.”

Iroquois Chiefs

The changes: According to Superintendent Douglas Scofield, the Iroquois school district will no longer be allowed to retain the “Chiefs” mascot, per the State’s regulations.

Scofield said the district has reached out to a local tribe, “but did not receive communication in return.” He also said the district has yet to begin choosing a new name and logo.

“We have not started the process yet,” he said.

Canaseraga Indians

The changes: Canaseraga Superintendent Chad Groff said the school board has had “some very basic conversations” about coming changes. (The school is located in Allegany County but competes in athletics with Rochester-area opponents in Section V.)

“We have waited to complete any official actions until after the changes in regulations were approved by the NYS Board of Regents,” Groff said in an email. “Now that that action has taken place, we will look to have the Board approve the mandatory retirement of our Indian mascot at their meeting in June.”

Groff said that moving forward, the plan will be to consider a replacement mascot and additional changes or adjustments within the building. This plan will move forward starting July 1.

Wyoming Indians

News 4 has reached out to the district and will update with its response.

Letchworth Indians

News 4 has reached out to the district and will update with its response. The school competes in athletics with Rochester-area opponents in Section V but is located in Wyoming County .

Chautauqua Lake Thunderbirds

A representative from the National Congress of American Indians told News 4 that its “Ending ‘Indian’ Mascots Initiative” extends to the name “Thunderbirds.” News 4 has reached out to the district and will update with its response.

Tapestry Thunderhawks

A representative from the National Congress of American Indians told News 4 that its “Ending ‘Indian’ Mascots Initiative” extends to the name “Thunderhawks.” News 4 has reached out to the district and will update with its response.

St. Francis Red Raiders

St. Francis is a private school and may not be subject to the state’s ruling. News 4 has reached out to the school and will update with its response.

On April 19, Dr. Montgomery Hill, assistant professor of Indigenous Studies at UB, joined News 4 at 4 to discuss Indigenous mascot name changes across the state. That interview can be seen below.

Adam Duke is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of his work here.