The statement is only the commission's opinion and has no legal implications.
Charlene Teters, a member of Spokane Nation, gave reserved praise to the committee's statement. "It's a step in the right direction," she said.
Teters said that while many middle and high schools have responded to the statement with plans for mascot changes, no major universities have signaled any intention to drop their teams' nicknames because of the statement.
Many high-profile schools still use American-Indian mascots. The Florida State University Seminoles, the University of Illinois Illini and the San Diego State University Aztecs are three prominent examples.
Teters attributed the colleges' higher resistance to change to the amount of exposure fans have to the mascot.
While high school students only have a few years of contact with their teams, fans tend to have longer relationships with college sport teams. "Sometimes these traditions are hard to change when you're talking about multigenerational attachments," Teters said.
But many colleges and universities have changed their mascot. Miami University in Ohio and St. John's University in New York City are among the schools that have replaced American Indian mascots in the last decade.
Holly Wissing, Miami's director of news and public information, said the school's decision to change its name from Redskins to RedHawks five years ago was a relatively easy one.
"Miami has had a longstanding tie with the Miami tribe," she said. "The tribe early on had supported the use of the Redskins nickname."