One way or another, the Chief will return
In publisher John Foreman's recent excellent article on Chief Illiniwek, he did not say, "The Chief is dead"!
Chief Illiniwek proponents believe he is still in the wings of future restoration. Most expect the University of Illinois to behave in a democratic fashion. In the past 15 years, we have repeatedly demonstrated the Alumni Association, the faculty and staff, the living former chiefs (Council of Chiefs), the public and past and present students overwhelmingly desire Chief Illiniwek's return.
Opposition to the Chief is small. Where is the democratic consideration in this matter?
The UI has had questionable leaders in recent years. President White, President Hogan and Chancellor Nancy Cantor were either removed or left. Why? For various reasons, but each opposed the Chief's retention. They did not listen.
Our new chancellor is well qualified, but her stance on the Chief has raised questions. I understand she visited the chief of the Peoria tribe along with a member of the UI staff.
After speaking with her, I concluded she wants the Chief to be a museum piece, not a real live spirit.
The Peoria tribe is willing to work with the UI to re-establish Chief Illiniwek. If an agreement is reached, the NCAA's concern will be dismissed because the UI will have Indian nation support.
Where UI trustees stand is unclear, but they cannot deny the enthusiastic public and student support for the Chief.
There is no right or wrong. This is a political issue where the majority must be considered.
Chief Illiniwek eventually will win out. He will continue to return, year after year until rightfully accepted.