:: Running from the Thought Police ::

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:: Friday, January 19, 2007 ::

One More Bit Of Supposed Ligitimacy Gone

One of the things the Pro-Chief crowd likes to tout is the fact that the current regalia used by the Chief was given to/bought by the university from a member of the Ogala Sioux. They seem to think that having "real, live Injuns" make the costume rather than some Eagle Scout in the late '20s somehow makes everything alright.

Thing is, that tribe now wants it back:

January 17, 2007


On January 17, 2007, the Executive Committee of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Nation submitted a resolution to the University of Illinois President and Board of Trustees and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chancellor demanding the return of the Lakota regalia used in the portrayal of the school’s mascot to the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

The official resolution refers to the “theatrics” and “antics” of “chief illiniwek” and notes that the “Oglala Lakota regalia is being misused to represent ‘Chief Illiniwek’” and needs to be returned to the rightful owners of the tribe. The resolution further states that “Chief Illiniwek” not only “perpetuates a degrading racial stereotype,” but violates the integrity of traditional Illinois tribes including the “Kaskaskia, Peroria, Piankeshuw, and Wea nations.”

Moreover, the Resolution by the Oglala Sioux supports the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma “in its request that the University of Illinois recognize the demeaning nature of the characterization of ‘Chief Illiniwek’ and cease use of this mascot.” In 2000, the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma passed a resolution “Request to University of Illinois to Cease Use of Chief llliniwek as Mascot.”

Given the increasing concerns regarding the experiences of racism and oppression facing American Indian nations and communities, the faculty of American Indian Studies (AIS) and the staff at the Native American House (NAH) at the University of Illinois welcome the Resolution of the Executive Committee of the Oglala Sioux Tribe that disapproves of the use of the Lakota Regalia in “Chief Illiniwek” performances and calls for cessation of the mascot.

Further, AIS/NAH faculty and staff call upon the Board of Trustees, President White, and UIUC administration to respond to this resolution with due respect and action. There can be no misreading of the Oglala Sioux Resolution—those to whom the Lakota regalia belongs and whom the Board of Trustees claims to be honoring have clearly requested that the performance and charade of “chief illiniwek” end.

Click here for a pdf copy of the Resolution of the Executive Committee of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
I wonder where the Bands department will end up getting a new set of regalia from. Part of the offensiveness of the Chief comes from the fact that he wears Lakota regalia to portray an Illinwek, whose culture and clothing were rather different. If this is not part of the end of the Chief, will this force the use of more accurate regalia and the end of the stupid prancing about that the Chief does?

:: The Squire 1:35 AM :: email this post :: ::


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