Friday, October 15, 2010

"Next Dance 2010" Cancelled? Or not?

Late yesterday afternoon the local media reported that Roger Huddleston of the "honor the chief" society and Samantha Uher of the "students for chief illiniwek" group had called of "The Next Dance 2010." They did this, news reports says, because the university sent them a 'cease and desist' letter because they (pro-chief groups) are in violation of the university's trademark on "chief illiniwek."

Then, apparently, reps from the pro-chief groups---three in particular: Huddleston's "honor the chief society," a student group called "Students for chief illiniwek" and, a group of men (who played the role of ''chief illiniwek') called the "council of chiefs")---got together late last night via conference call and decided "the show MUST go on."

But why? Why must it go on?

On the "Education" page of the "students for chief illiniwek" website, they say:
Students for Chief Illiniwek promotes the individual respect and knowledge of Native American cultures through research, formal education, and personal discovery."
What research? What formal education? And, what personal discovery?

Does "students for chief illiniwek" tell people that research studies demonstrate that this sort of imagery is harmful to the self-esteem and self-efficacy of the very group "students for chief illiniwek" wishes to "honor" with "chief illiniwek?"

Do they tell people that the two tribes mostly closely tied to "the tradition" have both passed resolutions asking the university to stop doing this? 

I'm talking about the Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma and the Oglala Sioux's. Did "students for chief illiniwek" let people know when the Peoria tribal leaders were on campus last year to give public lectures?

And does "students for chief illiniwek" tell people that the Oglala Tribal Council requested that the regalia the UI got from Fools Crow decades ago be returned to Fools Crow's family because it was not being used in the ways that he expected it would be?

Do these three groups tell people that back when they tried to give money to a Native women's shelter, in the name of a student who wrote a winning essay defending "chief illiniwek" the woman's center declined the money?

The pro chief groups say that they did the right thing by returning an eagle feather headdress to Fools Crow, but do they tell anyone that they returned that headdress after they were instructed to do so or be in violation of federal laws about who can and cannot have eagle feathers?

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