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University of Illinois "Chief Illiniwek" (Illinois)

Prompted by possible loss of accreditation, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees  "reopened the dialogue" on its mascot/symbol "Chief" Illiniwek for a few months. We are now awaiting Judge Louis Garippo's report and the Trustees response to our concerns in the fall.

Let's keep up the pressure!

Click here for the NCRSM's official response to University Legal Counsel

For an enlightening perspective on the Chief Illiniwek controversy, check out these responses to an online Chicago Sun-Times Poll asking the question "What should be done with Chief Illiniwek". The comments speak for themselves!

ProChief                          AntiChief

Read an article about Carol Spindel's new book "Dancing at Halftime"

Book review of "Dancing at Halftime" by NYU Press

"Mending the Circle", 1999 NCRSM National Symposium

    On October 15th-17th, 1999 Native American leaders, activists, scholars, and supporters convened for "Mending the Circle", in Urbana, Illinois, home of the University of Illinois and its "Chief Illiniwek" mascot.   Keynotes and panel discussions featured John Trudell, Prof. Dennis Tibbetts, Olu Awooinor Gordon (All African Peoples Revolutionary Party), Lawrence Baca (President, Native American B.A.R. Association), Dr. LaNada Boyer (special keynote on the 30th Anniversary of the Alcatraz Take Over) among many other honorable guests.  Chadwick Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, in Oklahoma, gave the keynote speech during a Friday evening banquet.
    Saturday, October 16th Symposium participants lead a march and rally against racist mascots at the University of Illinois' Homecoming football game.
    Finally, on Sunday, October 17th, the NCRSM hosted a town meeting on racism followed by a benefit concert featuring: Ulali, Julian B and John Trudell.

Michael Haney addressing the crowd during the rally at University of Ilinois homecoming game, October 99' Dan Green and Vernon Bellecourt presiding over the burning of an effigy of "Chief IIliniwek"' Children of the Bownas family at Mending the Circle, ready to lead the march to the stadium
Charlene Teters, Keynote Speaker at Mending the Circle

"Mending the Circle" was co-sponsored by the Champaign County Branch of the NAACP, the General Commission on Religion and Race of the United Methodist Church, Racial Justice Now, the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas, the University YMCA, and The Octopus, Indian Country Today, the United Church of Christ, and Women Against Racism. In addition, the final concert was co-sponsored by Central Illinois' Community Radio, WEFT 90.1 FM, Champaign.