Gar-Field Indians

Gar-Field High School announced March 15, 2021, that it will retire its Indians mascot.

Gar-Field High School in Prince William County will retire its Indians mascot and select a new one for the next school year, the school announced Monday. 

Principal Matthew Mathison announced the change in an email to the school community and said it had been requested by student leaders.  

"Gar-Field High School represents a diverse school community which not only accepts but celebrates the many cultures represented by our families," he wrote. "Our students are extremely proud of our diversity and learn so much about the world through the cultures of their classmates and teachers. I am proud that it has been our students who are demonstrating their commitment to Gar-Field by taking leadership on this matter."

Mathison said he also had heard from many alumni and community members expressing support for a change. 

Gar-Field, located on Smoketown Road in the Woodbridge area of Prince William, opened in 1953 as the successor to Occoquan District High School, Mathison wrote. At that time, the school adopted the Indians mascot as well, which had been used by Occoquan. 

"It is important to note that the intent of Gar-Field High School has never been to disrespect or disparage Native Americans or their cultures," Mathison wrote.

Similar to other county schools that have undergone mascot changes in recent years, Gar-Field will solicit student and community input and form a selection committee comprised of representatives from various stakeholder groups, Mathison said. "Connection to Gar-Field history and traditions will be a very important factor in the selection process."

Students, staff, alumni and community members are invited to submit suggestions through April 4.  Students and staff may submit suggestions here and alumni and community members here.

Costs of the mascot change will be covered by Prince William County Public Schools, Mathison said. 

"I understand the prospect of any change can evoke a wide array of feelings and varied reactions," he added. " All of us who have ever been fortunate to have attended or worked at Gar-Field know our identity is more than our mascot. .. I am very hopeful this process will be an opportunity to bring our community closer together. I call on all members of the Gar-Field community to remain united as we seek to select a mascot which fully reflects our values of inclusiveness, respect, and being champions for others."

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(14) comments

John Dutko


All y'all are a buncha whiny punks who are afraid of being treated like a minority.

Wake Up & Smell The Coffee!

This is the cancellation of Native American culture!

Popular Misconception

Well - I guess we've solved all the really big problems.

Mark Mitchell

I attended GF many years ago. The school always had nothing but immense pride in being called the Indians. It's a shame to see people want to change it to fit their own political agendas.

Paul Benedict

I wonder if "student leaders" at Garfield High School have any suggestions for Principal Mathison to get their school out of the bottom 25% of high schools in Prince William County? Priorities first.


School leaders requested a change? Thats a crock. Come on Matthew, have some stones. Tell these people to pound sand. The Garfield Unity Reeds. Hmmmm


so sad for america

Wayne D.

"Mathison said he also had heard from many alumni and community members expressing support for a change."

I am calling bogus on this. Prove it. I did not attend this school but I find it amusing the very few "woke" people win again. To me this mascot honors the Indian heritage and you are ripping it away. What the hell is wrong with this very small "woke" crowd in the US and more importantly, what the hell is wrong with the people in charge not having a spine and telling these "woke" people to get lost?

Paul Benedict

I don't believe it either. Only fringe nutjobs worry about stuff like this. But, these nutjobs have inordinate sway these days because people fear being canceled.


As 5-8000 covid stricken illegals pour into our country daily, we are more concerned about the name of Garfield HS.

Will Blevins

Another group dishonoring Native Americans. By Garfield removing the Indians name, that's one step closer to removing all Indians from our society. School names are meant to celebrate groups and animals. What's next? Do we have to remove the Vikings from Woodbridge High School because, it's offensive to whom? So the cancel culture wants to remove anything that celebrates the Native American? I mean, we can't call it the Garfield Native Americans, now can we. Another sad day in America.

PWC resident since '69

Just remember Unity is never achieved by UNILATERAL decisions!

Stephanie Richardson


Bernie Donahue

Smoketown Rd is the second Gar-Field location. The original GarField was located on Route 1. It is now the Dr A.J. Ferlazzo Building. I graduated from the location in 1962.

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