Monday, February 11, 2008

Vote NO - "Reinstate Chief Illiniwek" UIUC Student Referendum

UIUC's pro-Chief student groups were successful in placing a referendum on the ballot for the upcoming election. That referendum asks students to vote to have the mascot reinstated.

BE AN INFORMED VOTER. Form a study group and discuss the information provided here.

In the Daily Illini article published on Feb. 11, a student is quoted as saying that American Indians here and elsewhere support the referendum.

Since the 1980s, UIUC's Native students have organized and worked for the discontinuation of the mascot. UIUC's Native American House and American Indian Studies Program have also worked towards the end of that era, AND, the move towards one in which UIUC's students can learn about American Indians---not from a figure in a sports venue, but through courses in American Indian Studies.

Please visit the website for UIUC's Native American House and the American Indian Studies Program. Click on "Mascot Info" to read statements issued by our program, and, by individuals in our program over the past few years.

The National Congress of American Indians and the National Indian Education Association are two leading organizations of American Indians. Both have issued statements calling for schools to stop using Native imagery.

The American Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association have both issued statements that such imagery is harmful to both, Native and non-Native children.

The national offices of the Y-Indian Guides have decided to discontinue using Native imagery in their programs.

Liking that imagery does not mean you're a racist. Liking UIUC's mascot does not mean you're a racist.

For the most part, American society has taught its citizens to embrace romantic and/or savage imagery of American Indians.

Researchers in Education, Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Political Science, Law, History, and American Studies and American Indian Studies nationwide have studied these issues and written about why using Native imagery in this way is wrong.

You are students at an outstanding educational institution. You are here to learn.

Before you vote, read up on this issue. Here are some places to start:

Here's an article that critiques the article published in Sports Illustrated a few years back.

American Psychological Association Statement

American Sociological Association Statement

National Congress of American Indians

1 comment:

SaraL said...

Hello Debbie,

Thank you for commenting on my blog. It caused quite a stir in my TE 448 class (Issues of Diversity in Children's and Adolescent literature) especially in a positive way when my teacher noticed that you had commented on my blog, which is part of entire class blog. ( Please feel free to check it out. There are also other blogs on the Chief Illiniwek issue if you are interested!!
Also I wanted to comment that you have been part of our classroom!! We have a course pack in which your article entiled "Native Americans in Children's Literature" has been part of our discussions. One such section in your writing has been part of a huge debate in our classroom and that is part of the insider/outsider debate. You are an insightful and educated woman and I thank you for being part of my current and future education.