Chief is gone, but is anybody moving on?

Student referendum attempts to gauge support for retired symbol; some see new mascot as a way to more forward

URBANA — When Chief Illiniwek was officially retired in 2007, only the uninitiated thought the argument was over.

The UI has since tussled with Chief supporters and opponents over the use of the name "Chief Illiniwek," the official Chief logo, the costume and the "Three-in-One" music.

Chief portrayer Ivan Dozier and his predecessors have attempted to keep the tradition alive, staging events like "The Next Dance" and appearing in the crowd at UI football and basketball games and high school dances. Fans still stand and clap during the nonexistent Chief's music at halftime.

Chief opponents, meanwhile, complain that the UI hasn't done enough to uphold its own policy or stop unauthorized use of the Chief's likeness outside the university.

UI students are preparing to take yet another advisory vote on the issue this week — specifically, whether they support the Chief as the official symbol for the campus — in response to a contest for a new mascot by a student group called Campus Spirit Revival.

Chancellor Phyllis Wise said she will be interested to hear student opinion on both fronts, but she and other UI leaders emphasize one point: The Chief will stay retired.

"It's pretty clear that both the board of trustees and the NCAA said that the use of Chief Illiniwek as a symbol for the University of Illinois is not approved if we want to be involved in postseason play. And so my view is that we are not going to bring back the Chief," Wise said last week.

"I am willing to acknowledge that he was part of our tradition, he was part of our history, that there are many people who spent time at Illinois and who are part of our community who really revered him. Maybe that's appropriate for that time, but you cannot go backward."

After years of pressure, the UI Board of Trustees officially voted in March 2007 to end Chief Illiniwek's dance and the use of the Chief or any Native American imagery for the university or its athletic programs. The NCAA had previously barred the UI from hosting postseason tournaments as long as it used Native American imagery.

Josh Good, the student who pushed to get the Chief question on the ballot this week, is confident students will vote in favor of the Chief, but he is also realistic about the symbol's fate. His intent was twofold: to ensure that "students' voices are heard" and stop any effort to create a new campus mascot.

Campus Spirit Revival should have first determined whether there is popular student sentiment for a new mascot before seeking a campuswide vote on the various contest entries in late January, he said.

Good also challenged the Illinois Student Senate's co-sponsorship of the contest, saying it conflicted with bylaws requiring the senate to abide by the results of student referendums. In 2008, students voted by a wide margin in favor of the Chief as the UI symbol.

Student Trustee David Pileski, who led senate support for the contest, said he saw it as a way to help the campus move on from the long fight over the Chief and enhance the campus experience.

Thomas Ferrarell of Campus Spirit Revival said the group wanted to identify creative student ideas for a mascot first and use that as a basis for a dialogue on how to move forward.

"There is no denying our past mascot was controversial and divisive," Ferrarell said, and a new mascot could help "bridge that rift."

Wise said there are no current efforts by the university to develop a new mascot, and the campus hasn't tried to encourage or prevent the student effort.

"It's really a student issue. We are not involved," she said.

Good, a veterinary medicine student who also holds a UI bachelor's degree, said he doesn't believe a majority of alumni or current students will clamor for a new mascot any time soon, though he doesn't discount it down the road.

He argued that having no mascot benefits both sides of the Chief debate. Those who felt the Chief was demeaning or disrespectful to Native American culture are happy because the campus no longer uses the mascot, he said, and those who see the Chief as representing the university "can still hold on to that unofficial symbol in their hearts."

"To replace that with some mascot just for the sake of having a mascot is unnecessary and I believe is disrespectful to the traditions of Illinois," he said.

Renewed Chief interest?

UI alumnus Steve Raquel of the Council of Chiefs — former students who served as Chief Illiniwek — finds the recent student interest in the issue encouraging. He likens it to a "revival" after a waning of Chief support on campus for several years after its retirement. He was surprised the Chief question found enough signatures to get on the ballot.

"Whether they support the dance aspect of it, they support what the Chief represented and the good that it did," said Raquel, 42, who owns a marketing consulting firm in Chicago.

He also noted that the trustees and administrators who made the decision in 2007 are no longer at the university. Chief supporters are planning to step up their activities this spring. Dozier, the current Chief portrayer, plans to hold tryouts this semester for a successor and said he's already had several people sign up. Dozier and his assistant, Katie Birkel, are both seniors, though Dozier may return for graduate school next year.

"I think there's an opportunity to bring the tradition back in a way that's a win-win for the university and the alumni," Raquel said.

Wise said she hasn't heard any proposals from the group. The chancellor said she would listen to ideas about "ways to remember" the Chief but stressed that the campus can't return to the past.

She called it a distraction that would "hurt us in terms of being able to compete effectively with the Berkeleys, the Stanfords, the Michigans, the Harvards of this world."

"The global competition is huge. We have to find ways to unite and go forward and embrace the fact that change is happening, and that for this university to remain great and get even greater, we have to put all of our efforts into moving forward," she said.

Protecting the trademark

Chief opponents, meanwhile, argue that the UI hasn't done enough to stop unauthorized use of the Chief's likeness or educate the community about the issue.

"Certainly this crop of students are going to be voting on an issue that they're concerned with without information. They're unaware of why the university came to the conclusion to cease the Illiniwek tradition," said retired UI Professor Stephen Kaufman, a longtime Chief opponent.

Kaufman wrote to Wise and other UI officials in recent weeks complaining about a performance by Dozier at Hoopeston High School's homecoming on Jan. 26. It was originally billed as a performance by Chief Illiniwek.

According to a YouTube video, Dozier did virtually the same routine that the Chief formerly performed to the UI's traditional "Three-in-One" music.

UI officials subsequently asked Hoopeston not to use the name "Chief Illiniwek" and to remove any affiliation with the UI, campus spokeswoman Robin Kaler said.

The trustees's resolution in 2007 directed "the immediate conclusion to the use of Native American imagery as the symbol of the University of Illinois and its intercollegiate athletics along with the related regalia, logo and the names Chief Illiniwek and Chief."

UI officials said they can police the name and image of Chief Illiniwek, including the official logo, but dances and costumes are forms of free expression protected by the First Amendment.

Throughout the Chief's history on campus, the dance evolved with each Chief portrayer, Kaler said. Even if someone dresses in a Native American costume and does some of the same steps, "there's no single Chief dance. There's nothing you could really legally protect."

The "Three-in-One" music is copyrighted, but Dozier said he bought an official CD of the music for his portrayals. He and Raquel said they have been careful to respect the university's copyright protections.

Dozier said he continues to portray the Chief as a "bridge to education" about Native American culture and to prevent "imposters" from misusing the Chief. Whoever is chosen by the Council of Chiefs "knows the history, knows the culture, can guide it in a certain direction," said Dozier, who said he is part Native American.

The unofficial Chief

In a separate letter to UI officials last week, Kaufman complained that continuing to sell "race-based clothing" and other items violates the university's own policy and NCAA directives and undermines its educational mission.

Among myriad "Unofficial St. Patrick's Day" T-shirts on sale in recent weeks — not authorized by the UI — was one depicting the Chief with beer bottles around his head instead of feathers.

Freshman Holly Bass, a member of the Sac and Fox Nation and the Native American and Indigenous Students Organization on campus, said the shirts played into offensive stereotypes of Native Americans. She isn't personally offended by the Chief itself but said students don't understand the history behind it or why some object to it.

"That's why I think we should push people being more educated about it," she said.

The UI stopped sales of the shirt once officials became aware of it, along with another that was questionable, Kaler said. It's been a perennial problem with Unofficial, she said, and the university acts as soon as it's aware of violations of any trademark, such as the "Block I" logo or even "The University of Illinois."

But Kaufman points to websites that sell unapproved merchandise titled "Chief Illini" or with other American Indian likenesses. The "cafepress" site last week featured a button saying, "Scalp 'em Fighting Illini."

Kaler said policing logos and trademarks is a challenge for any large organization. She estimated the issue arises at least once a week, though problems with the Chief logo are less frequent.

"Ninety-nine times out of 100 when we ask, people stop," she said, and if they don't, UI lawyers follow up.

Kaufman and other Chief critics said it's an ongoing problem that will remain as long as the UI keeps vestiges of the Chief. If the Chief is offensive, Ferrarell said, then so are its dances, chants, music and merchandise.

"I would just like them to do what they're supposed to do," Kaufman said.

 

UI student ballot

Do you support Chief Illiniwek as the official symbol of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?

Student will be voting Tuesday and Wednesday.

Also on the ballot:

— Candidates for Illinois Student Senate, SORF Board and student trustee.

— Referendum on a $25-a-semester fee increase for the Assembly Hall.

— Referendum on the $2-a-semester fee for the Collegiate Readership Program.

— Referendum on the $17.28-a-semester fee for the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

Comments

News-Gazette.com embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

td5775 wrote on March 03, 2013 at 9:03 am

 I am a 1979 alum and I love the Chief. But face it, he's not coming back. 

mark taylor's ghost wrote on March 03, 2013 at 9:03 am

Never, in all the history of all the universes, has appearing at high school dances ever been a sign of irrevocable decline into has-been status.

Never. Not once. PERIOD!!!!!!!11!

read the DI wrote on March 03, 2013 at 11:03 am

Good to see Prof. Kaufmann still out there, whining away about a mascot that no longer exists. Sheesh, anything is better than that guy in the classroom!

myattitude wrote on March 03, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I agree with others that the Chief is not likely to return to the University given the current state of politics in Illinois, the appointed Board of Trustees, and the Administration.

However, I disagree that is couldn't happen because of the NCAA. Three other Division I schools - Florida State, Utah, and Central Michigan were able to keep their names intact due to a relationship with various tribes. Illinois has the same option but it takes a willing administration and board but in Illinois the political forces are unwilling to allow it. The solution is sitting in Oklahoma.

For this reason and many others, the state needs to return to elected boards for the universities in the state. The problems go well beyond the problem of the Chief which in the overall scheme is a small problem but one important to many people.

Illiniwek222 wrote on March 03, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Myattitude hits it on the head. We need to return to publicly elected boards. Let the voters have a say. It's their tax dollars.


And just how many post-season tournaments has the U of I hosted since 2007 anyway??

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 03, 2013 at 3:03 pm

What tribes represent the Illini tribe?  Do the remnants of the Miami-Potowatimee tribe represent the Illini tribe?  Does the Kickapoo tribe represent the Illini tribe?

Florida State dealt with the Seminole tribe which is a tribe in Florida.  Utah dealt with the Ute tribe which is in Utah.  There are no tribes left in Illinois.  There are tribes that would jump at the chance to represent the extinct Illini tribe.  Which one would be the choice?  A court fight would surely evolve due to another tribe claiming descent.

A number of years ago under the Ryan administration; the Miami tribe claimed to represent the Potawatimee tribe over a treaty signed back in the early 1800's.  The Miami claimed that the treaty was signed; but not by all of their people.  Some "chiefs" signed it; but others did not.  Therefore, they claimed the land in eastern Illinois.  In return for the ownership of the land, they wanted a casino in the Kankakee area.  Ryan stood them down.  They dropped the claim.  However before they did; they threatened land owners with eviction.  One threatened was a 90 some year old farmer who held deed to his land.  Many expressed indignation over the old man complaining because the land was Native American land before it was Euro-American land.  It made no difference that the old farmer's family had paid for the land, made it productive, and maintained stewardship for generations.  It was the thing to do to correct history according to the indignant who were not Native Americans.  Well, they might have been part of the Wantabee tribe.

There would be nothing good coming from trying to deal with any tribe claiming to represent the extinct Illini tribe.  The Illini tribe was destroyed by other Native American tribes long before Illinois became a state. 

Drop the concept of a Native American mascot.  Get a politically correct mascot; or continue with none at all.

Sheldon Illini wrote on March 03, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Dear Chancellor Wise and President Easter;

Perhaps it would be worthwhile to benchmark Florida State, Utah, and Central Michigan's relationship with Native American Tribes.  It appears they have found a way to work with Native Americans for the betterment of their univiersities and it a way that financially benefits Native American students and their entire student body.  Such a move would demonstrate your administration's ability to collaboratively solve complex problems 

Your administration seems to be very disconnected from the concerns of U of I Alumni-especially University of Illinois Urbana Champaign Alumni.   I think it would be worthwhile for both of you to visit UIUC Alumni Association groups throughout the United States.  You certainly have many UIUC representatives traveling the country asking for donations but not asking about our concerns.  As an alumnus of the UIUC I would also like to have an Alumni association dedicated to the UIUC campus and one that might improve communication with UIUC graduates.   It's time for a reorganization of this bloated ineffective organization. 

Finally perhaps you could add some administrators that have connectiviity to the State of Illinois past.   There seems to be a lack of knowledge of Illinois history and a lack of interest in collaborating with all of us from the past.   You might find our input to be of value.  You also might greatly improve alumni donations at the exact same time when government support is declining.   

 

 

rsp wrote on March 04, 2013 at 9:03 am

Does the UI really need more administrators?

Hossman83 wrote on March 03, 2013 at 4:03 pm

There are many more politicaly questionable symbols than the Chief in the NCAA (not to mention the Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, Washington Redskins...). I would include Florida State Seminoles and the Fighting Irish as prime examples. Florida state has a guy ride out on the field with a flamming spear in his hand. I would say that is much more questionable than the Chief halftime dance ever was. Since there is no Illini tribe currently in existence, and to my knowledge there never was an Illini tribe, then there is neither a tribe to bribe nor a tribe to offend. It just doesn't make sense to me how the Chief was singled out by the NCAA. I'm sickened how we have bent over backwards to correct actions that were taken by settlers in this country more than a hundred years ago. From people I personally work with who claim to be 1/62 native american (who are white as can be) so they can claim free health care from the federal gov. to casinos which take (albeit willingly) hard working peoples paychecks, it has gotten out of hand. I would say the only positive is that there has been some backlash against political correctness in recent years as people begin to realize that it has been taken way too far.

bluegrass wrote on March 04, 2013 at 10:03 am

Say this next part like a soothing, on hold computer generated voice..

"Resistance is futile.  There is no middle ground or logic in political correctness.  You are a racist.  Press 1 to repeat message, Press 2 to hang up."

If you wish to engage in politically incorrect behavior at universities, like sexual harrassment , or bombing buildings and killing innocent people, and have it widely accepted by your peers, it helps to be a tenured professor.  Otherwise, Press 1.  We (the collective We) welcome people like Bill Ayers into the community with open arms, and we thirst for his knowledge.  We protect his speech, to the point of arresting people who dare to interrupt his words.  But the Chief, no no no my friend.  The Chief is hostile and abusive.  So, to recap.  Threatening your students you wouldn't remember their names unless they have sex with you, not hostile and abusive by faculty panel standads.  Bill Ayers, admitted bomber and murderer, not hostile and abusive.  Chief dancing at halftime, hostile and abusive.  Now do you understand?  If not, Press 1.

SaintClarence27 wrote on March 06, 2013 at 8:03 am

1) You can't be 1/62 Native American. What are you, Michael Scott?

2) There was an Illiniwek confederation of tribes. Most of them were wiped out by disease and warfare, and then the rest were sent to Kansas.

3) FSU pays the Seminole tribe for the use of the symbol.

4) Notre Dame is crazy, and should never be used as an example for anything.

5) Professional teams are autonomous bodies, and private corporations. We are talking about a public institution of learning. And just because FSU does it is no excuse - do you really want to follow Florida's example on *anything?*

6) You don't get free health care from the Federal government because you have NA blood. That's not even remotely close to accurate.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on March 06, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Accurate schmaccurate. Bluegrass's rant fits all my preconceived ideas and beliefs and THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS!!!!!

Now why don't you be respectful and shut up and let us educate you or else I'll pull out my concealed carry piece and teach you how to respect your betters, boy.

EL YATIRI wrote on March 03, 2013 at 4:03 pm
Profile Picture

Talk about "die-hard" Chief supporters!  Time to accept reality and get a PC mascot.

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 03, 2013 at 5:03 pm

EL YATIRI;  Yep, your right.  However, the controversy will continue on until the last die-hards do just that.  It is up to the students to decide.  It is their mascot.  I doubt the majority will want to bring back the Chief.  As each year passes, less of them remember the Chief.  Who wants a phoney Ameridian?  The longer the controversy continues; the worse the image of being non-politically correct becomes just like Confederate battle flags as state flags. 

sameeker wrote on March 04, 2013 at 10:03 am

No matter what mascot you choose, some whiner will always be offended. Just do without any mascot. I also think that the state should follow through with taking the non profit status from the NCAA. I also suggest heavy taxes on the PC people to pay for policing everybody to make sure that they don't offend anyone.

By the way. This is a VERY VERY user unfriendly site. Between the cumnbersome captua process to the fact that posts made in reply to someone are often put in the wrong place, this site could use some common sense improvement. It would also be nice to simplify cut and paste as well as add spell check.

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 04, 2013 at 10:03 am

sameeker;  Everyone is politically correct according to their viewpoint.  We are all being taxed for that now.  The tobacco tax, and liquor tax are examples of it.  Money given to other countries such as Israel comes from taxes.  That is based on political correctness in many cases.  I do agree about the NCAA no longer being a non-profit organization.

I definitely agree on the website being unfriendly.  That is why I addressed my comment to you specifically.  It is frustrating to respond to one person's comment only to have it appear to be a response to another person's comment.  The spell check problem is annoing also.

Illiniwek222 wrote on March 03, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Let's replace our former revered symbol with an ear of corn wearing a big smiley face.

spangwurfelt wrote on March 04, 2013 at 6:03 pm

But only after we have killed off all the corn in the state first, just to make it a fair comparison.

rsp wrote on March 04, 2013 at 8:03 pm

What kind of corn? Sweet corn, feed corn, indian corn?

Bheller wrote on March 04, 2013 at 12:03 am

I take note most of the statement "educate the community about the issue".

In coversations with multiple individuals, including the professor-emeritus, I have found there is little in the way of a dialogue.  Rather, what most have been interested in is putting forward their viewpoint and disregarding others.

This tradition and unity from it, which for the most part still exists, has been under constant siege.  Mostly in the form of acusations that supporters are racist or niave at best.

This tradition, in truth, should be seen as an opportunity.  Chief Illiniwek predates traditional "mascots" and operates in a manner inconsistent with the very idea.  Such a thing to qoute Mr. Frank Fools Crow, "As long as it remained respectful, is a good thing".  It is not the mere domain of white students, having had a female and a great mutltide of diversity representing the spirit.

It is something that has still the opportunity to be discussed and refined.  This rather than a wholesale removal, with limited understanding.  Lack of thinking on the part of our ancestors to their actions is what was the problem to begin with.

"Dozier said he continues to portray the Chief as a "bridge to education" about Native American culture "

To end, I had always been informed by said proponents to removal that should I see a true native dance, I would "change my mind".  Having been raised in Champaign, such exposure led me to seek such opportunities to learn and grow.  To qoute individual who spoke to us and showed us his heritige, "You were all born of this land, for you and your generation are also the natives now.  Take care to learn of it and be a part of it"

I and many of my friends would have never had the spark of interest in our own heritige of this land.  Chief Illiniwek helped me to recognize the Chief Wahoo's of the world and see it in such shocking contrast.  So, I implore you all to take a moment ot see,

We are not the same.  

 

spangwurfelt wrote on March 04, 2013 at 6:03 pm

The symbol/mascot thing has always struck me as a distinction without a difference, and an after-the-fact, word-game-based rationalization of a racist mascot.

Bheller wrote on March 05, 2013 at 7:03 am

Always?  I would really enjoy hearing another situation/ example of this situation.  Please note to meet the criteria.

-  Such a symbol may not perform during game-time/on the sidelines, but only act as a part of the respective band.

-  Be an official part of the group that it portrays (In the case of Chief Illiniwek, being an official member of a singular native Arizonan tribe)

-  Be based on the traditions of the Boy Scouts of America and the order of the arrow.  

-  Have had many portrayers travel to the respected home of the peoples,( Oglala-Sioux reservation for many Chief Illiniwek portrayers)

 

Try those and come back to me with your example and I would love to chat on that symbol aswell.

spangwurfelt wrote on March 06, 2013 at 8:03 am

You've proved my point. Now you're saying the difference between "mascot" and "symbol" hinges on four arbitrary trivialities. I mean, Boy Scouts? Really?

"Mascot", "symbol" -- no persuasive difference.

SaintClarence27 wrote on March 06, 2013 at 9:03 am

I would like to know how "The Chief" is an official part of the group that it portrays.

rsp wrote on March 04, 2013 at 9:03 am

Dozier said he continues to portray the Chief as a "bridge to education" about Native American culture and to prevent "imposters" from misusing the Chief.

I hate to be the one to point this out, (no I don't), Dozier is misusing the Chief and is an imposter. This is about his own ego. He isn't the Chief, he needs to let it go. But then he wouldn't have the audience.

Bheller wrote on March 05, 2013 at 7:03 am

Actually, in all the way that the previous Chief Illiniweks are, Mr. Dozier is Chief Illiniwek.

He was subject to peer review and passed the an audition put forward by the Council of Chiefs.  (An organization of those who have formerly portrayed Chief Illiniwek.

You have little facts to support your statement.  Basically, he is the Chief-in-exile.

 

mark taylor's ghost wrote on March 05, 2013 at 7:03 am

Yes, the noble Council of Chiefs met in solemn dignity and, after consulting with their spirit guides, they had visions of Dozier performing at the Hoopston high school dance and the Council of Chiefs said it was good.

He's the Chief In Exile, not some anachronistic misappropriation of a culture nearly exterminated by the culture that now cheers as he prances around with the name of one tribe and the regalia of another for their amusement.

Dance for us, boy. Dance.

Critics of the chief are nothing but ignorant outside agitators who just don't understand how much the Illini Nation (mostly old white people) truly love and respect the chief.

They just need to be educated and stop being so dang ignorant.

rsp wrote on March 06, 2013 at 4:03 am

Chief-in-exile? Chief Illiniwek is an not real, it's a character. Dozier puts on a costume and plays a role. If you guys think otherwise you need to see a doctor. It's time to put the costume away and move on. Are all the former chiefs exiled?

spangwurfelt wrote on March 06, 2013 at 8:03 pm

"Basically, he is the Chief-in-exile."

And by the same reasoning, Christian Bale is basically the Batman-in-exile.

The Chief had his day. It's passed. Time to accept it and move on.

sameeker wrote on March 04, 2013 at 10:03 am

No matter what mascot you choose, some whiner will always be offended. Just do without any mascot. I also think that the state should follow through with taking the non profit status from the NCAA. I also suggest heavy taxes on the PC people to pay for policing everybody to make sure that they don't offend anyone.

thorx wrote on March 04, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Blah, blah, blah, blah  Get a life people.

spangwurfelt wrote on March 04, 2013 at 6:03 pm

"When Chief Illiniwek was officially retired in 2007, only the uninitiated thought the argument was over."

It was clear that the argument was over in the sense that the demise of the Chief became inevitable. But it was also clear that there were going to be dead-enders, like those stories you hear about Japanese soldiers turning up in the 1970s because nobody told them that WWII was over, and that they were going to try to make as much noise as possible for as long as possible while failing to convince anyone who isn't already convinced.

Bheller wrote on March 05, 2013 at 6:03 am

Spangwurfelt,

To have an argument, you have to start with a conversation where one side at least listens.

We never were truly listened to by those against Chief Illiniwek.  It was their way OR we'll go to the NCAA with one side of the picture and push for our way.

It wasn't a discourse, it was a large group of people being dictated to, and it is wrong.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on March 05, 2013 at 7:03 am

Yep. Those critics should have had the respect for us enough to just shut up and not complain about the racist embarrassment representing the university to the world.

They sould have listened to chief supporters by shutting the dang heck up and letting us educate them about how much respect and honor we hold in our hearts for the sacred and noble chief. Then, presto chango, they would be magically transformed by the Great Spirit into chief supporters and then I'd say their voices should be heard.

dhendricks71 wrote on March 05, 2013 at 8:03 am

Mark taylors ghost someone mentioned "outside agitators", which I can't think of a more fitting discription. Political correctness run amuck ended a very reverved tradition for tens if not hundreds of thousands of illini fans. It doesn't matter what the dance consisted of or if the fans were white it only matters that it was a more important issue to them than the nomadic administrators who were more co.cern with themselves. What exactly has this done for the native Americans , nothing. Over a century and a half ago the were forcebly removed from their land and put in camp where starvation and disease decimated them . Today the suffer the highest rated of unemploy,childhood mortality, alcoholism, incarcerated and basically everything bad. Now after 70 plus years changing the schools symbol is suppossed to make a difference in their lives.

. And you the others anti-chief supporters say we are.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on March 05, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Couldn't have said it better myself.

dhendricks71 wrote on March 05, 2013 at 8:03 am

Mark taylors ghost someone mentioned "outside agitators", which I can't think of a more fitting discription. Political correctness run amuck ended a very reverved tradition for tens if not hundreds of thousands of illini fans. It doesn't matter what the dance consisted of or if the fans were white it only matters that it was a more important issue to them than the nomadic administrators who were more co.cern with themselves. What exactly has this done for the native Americans , nothing. Over a century and a half ago the were forcebly removed from their land and put in camp where starvation and disease decimated them . Today the suffer the highest rated of unemploy,childhood mortality, alcoholism, incarcerated and basically everything bad. Now after 70 plus years changing the schools symbol is suppossed to make a difference in their lives.

. And you the others anti-chief supporters say we are.

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 05, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Well; dress up as a Native American, and drive to the nearest res.  That probably would be in Wisconsin.  Drive up to Lac de Flambeau; and ask the people there what they think about your costume, and the Chief.   Knock on doors to get a complete survey of their attitudes regarding the matter.

spangwurfelt wrote on March 06, 2013 at 8:03 am

You were listened to. You were listened to for decades. You just weren't agreed with, and at the end of the day the administration and the NCAA agreed that you were on the wrong side of the argument. Look at the archives of the DI and you'll see the history of the Chief is the history of racist caricature for most of its existence, with a bit at the very end where there were some half-hearted attempts to recast it and pretend it was all about a noble "symbol of our campus." That argument failed to persuade because it was so plainly a last-minute late-comer and so clearly flew in the face of the Chief's long and sordid history.

SaintClarence27 wrote on March 06, 2013 at 9:03 am

Dead-enders in the Franco Harris sense?

jlc wrote on March 05, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Bheller, does it make a difference to you that the Peoria Nation, the living descendants of the Illini, do not want the Chief to be our mascot?

mark taylor's ghost wrote on March 06, 2013 at 6:03 am

Nope. Not a bit. Any more silly questions...?

SaintClarence27 wrote on March 06, 2013 at 10:03 am