Education | Opinion

Opinion: 'Chief Illiniwek' mascot doesn't respect Native people

Student at University of Illinois discusses the continued use of the Chief Illiniwek mascot:
One of the most controversial campus issues has been thrown back in the spotlight. The Honor the Chief Society and the University Board of Trustees reached an agreement regarding the Chief Illiniwek trademark.

The debate over whether the Chief should be considered a symbol of the University is one that has caused me large amounts of cognitive dissonance. On one hand, I understand the Chief’s tie to the University and how it has been a quintessential source of pride for students and alumni. On the other hand, the Native American community has been vocal about their opposition, and, because of the symbol’s tie to the Native American heritage, the wishes of the community should be respected.

My position as a resident adviser for University Housing strengthened my worldview of inclusiveness and respect, and I believe the portrayal of the Chief is neither inclusive nor respectful of the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma — descendents of the Illinois Indians.

Get the Story:
Matt Pasquini : Looking at Chief controversy through cultural lens (The Daily Illini 11/5)

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