In March, 1911, Renton High School was built on land originally owned by the Duwamish Indian Tribe. The school opened that fall without a designated mascot or emblem, and it remained this way for the next five years. This all changed, however, in 1916 when a student named Henry Moses enrolled at Renton. He was one of only a few Native Americans who attended the new educational institution. Moses showed great interest in Renton's athletic activities and became an active member of the school's sports programs.
During the years 1916 to 1920, Moses was Renton's lone Native American basketball player, and other teams were known to taunt the young man and call his school the "Indians" in an attempt to harass the squad. But, Moses remained undaunted and actually elevated the team's competitiveness in spite of the opposition's insults. Moses's fellow teammates soon began to take pride in their "Indian" colleague. At one time, Moses said, "Since I'm a major part of the team, we might as well be called the "Indians." Thus, in honor of the inspiring Native American player, the school adopted the name, and Renton has been known as the Indians ever since.
Today, after several decades, controversy has risen over whether or not Renton should retain their "Indian" school symbol. However, Moses's wife and the Duwamish tribe have asked Renton to keep the name, "Indians" in memory of her husband's pride in the school and the precious years he spent here. Henry Moses once said, "Indian stands for determination, bravery, and strength," and in the words of 1994 graduate Marvice Thornton, "Here at Renton, our mascot has meant nothing less."