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Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

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Old Jan 18, 2007, 01:28 PM   #1
illini4everjp
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...l=chi-news-hed

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The Oglala Sioux Tribe today demanded the University of Illinois return the Lakota regalia worn by Chief Illiniwek, the school's controversial mascot.

In a resolution presented to the U. of I. board of trustees, the university president and the chancellor, the tribe called for the university to "cease use of this mascot."
Quote:
The use of the costume by Chief Illiniwek is insulting to the tribe, particularly because the ceremonial dress "was a significant honor to wear," Young Bear added.

"That's something you earn, as a provider and a protector," he said. "There's a lot of spiritualism and a lot of traditional value by the people who actually wore it at that time."
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 01:47 PM   #2
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

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Originally Posted by illini4everjp
Wait - they were the ones who provided the outfit for the Chief? And now they want it back? Huh?!

Isn't that what they mean by the phrase "indian-----". [edited for content]

Last edited by bonick03; Jan 18, 2007 at 01:54 PM.
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 01:50 PM   #3
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

oohh i can see some people getting mad about that comment


i can't believe this chief thing is still in the news....


i sure hope i don't get sued and forced to take the chief off my rear window.
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 01:59 PM   #4
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

University to Oglala Sioux tribe - "Tough S**t"
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 02:06 PM   #5
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

Is it asking too much to have a halftime show that doesn't make people hate each other? Admit it, the only way we're ever going to get past this silly bickering is if we retire the Chief.
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 02:16 PM   #6
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

Maybe, except that for alot of people, its more than just a halftime show, its tradition and a symbol which represents loyalty and honor and the ideals of the University.
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 02:50 PM   #7
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

It's mainly another pressure tactic. The Universty can hardly respond indignantly. It's a bit of a double bind: Return the costume and be seen as making a concession; don't return the costume and be seen as insensitive to the cultural issues identified by the Oglala. That's exactly the dilemma they (and whoever may have ecouraged this manuever) want to create.

As we've all known, the issue won't go away, not even if litigation ensues with the NCAA and the UI prevails (the real questions being institutional autonomy, governance, and the scope of the NCAA's oversight authority).

Here is an update of the U. of North Dakota's pending litigation against the NCAA in which the NCAA was enjoined from enforcing its mascot ban and related punishments against UND pending the outcome of the trial, which now is postponed until Dec. 2007, at the earliest:

http://chronicle.com/news/article/14...-next-december

I still believe that case and any related actions or appeals in federal court, will significantly influence the Trustees, if they are willing to hang on that long, or initiate an action by the University against the NCAA. I'd love to see the NCAA forced to defend multiple lawsuits on this issue simultaneously. That also would increase the odds of the matter reaching federal court.
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 03:12 PM   #8
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

Nice outline of the situation, council.

I don't understand why the descendant of the guy who originally gave the costume to the University doesn't respect the opinion of his elders, and instead demands the costume back. I just don't get it. Who is he being pressured by? I think we all know the answer to that question. And the anti-chief people who are most likely bribing this guy to make such a silly demand (it is really very childish) should be ashamed.

Quote:
The regalia itself is not even like that worn by the tribe Chief Illiniwek is supposed to have come from, said Malvin Young Bear, cultural liaison to Vice President William Brewer of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
I have two problems with this: 1) I thought that there was no specific tribe that Chief Illiniwek represents, rather a federation of tribes from the midwest, and 2)since when did tribe leaders start being refered to as Cultural Liasons and Vice Presidents? Who's the chief? And is this supposed cultural liason one of those people who are 1/128th American Indian who try to speak as if they are active members of an Indian tribe? No doubt the cultural liason has been leaning hard on the VP's ear. . .
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 03:33 PM   #9
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/...more_than.html

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"For 80 years, we have looked at our partnership with the Oglala Sioux as a positive one," said Raquel, of Naperville, who writes a blog called The Chief Perspective. "These recent developments are disappointing. Both the university and the Council of Chiefs are continuing to work together on the best way possible to move the Illiniwek tradition forward.
Quote:
"The real issue is what can be salvaged of the tradition, and what happens next If current university leaders have their way, the Chief will depart the field a final time with pride, dignity and even a little defiance.

"He will not be 'retired,' and no attempt will be made to erase the memory of a magnificent tradition."
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 03:40 PM   #10
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

Just my opinion, but I don't think the Chief half time entertainment is that entertaining. I like the symbol, and I like being the Fighting Illini, but watching some white guy in an indian chief costume jump around just isn't my idea of entertaining, and the controversy just isn't worth it.

Bring out the dance team and the acrobatic dunking gorilla. Or just the dance team is good enough
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 03:48 PM   #11
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

Quoted from the article.....

particularly because the ceremonial dress "was a significant honor to wear," Young Bear added.

"That's something you earn, as a provider and a protector," he said. "There's a lot of spiritualism and a lot of traditional value by the people who actually wore it at that time."


So I understand from these quotes that those who actually wore the ceremonial dress earned it and were honored by it; a lot of value was placed on it. Well, isn't that the point of Chief Illiniwek wearing it then, so as to be honored by the people of Illinois? The regalia means a lot -- of course it does! That's why the Chief wears it, to symbolize what it meant to those tribes that wore it. I don't see how this specific regalia meaning a lot changes anything.
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 03:52 PM   #12
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

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Originally Posted by FinalFour88
So I understand from these quotes that those who actually wore the ceremonial dress earned it and were honored by it; a lot of value was placed on it. Well, isn't that the point of Chief Illiniwek wearing it then, so as to be honored by the people of Illinois? The regalia means a lot -- of course it does! That's why the Chief wears it, to symbolize what it meant to those tribes that wore it. I don't see how this specific regalia meaning a lot changes anything.
Thank you!
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 03:56 PM   #13
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

Another quote from one of the above postings: "He will not be 'retired,' and no attempt will be made to erase the memory of a magnificent tradition."

Exactly. If Chief Illiniwek is officially retired, stores will still be able to sell chief merchandise, and every Illini fan will remember the chief vividly and will probably even tell their kids about it to the point that few people will even notice he's gone. You'll still see pictures of him around town (maybe even more) and fans will still wear chief t-shirts to games (again, maybe even more people will wear chief merchandise just to keep it alive). Point being, retire the chief. I don't care. I almost never go to games, so I hardly ever see his halftime appearance anyway. If the chief is retired, it will still be as if he never left, as we'll still continue see him everywhere around C-U. The chief isn't going anywhere, at least not in our lifetimes.
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 04:06 PM   #14
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

And if, for some reason, we do give the uniform back to them, we should give it back the same way we got it - on the 50 yard line at Memorial Stadium during halftime of a game.
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 04:08 PM   #15
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

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Originally Posted by illini4everjp
Maybe, except that for alot of people, its more than just a halftime show, its tradition and a symbol which represents loyalty and honor and the ideals of the University.
And for a lot of Native Americans, it is far more than a halftime dance - it's their religion.

Very tough call.

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Old Jan 18, 2007, 04:09 PM   #16
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

I'm with you, MSP... Lose the Chief, keep the symbol!

The University is going to have to compromise if not drop the mascot entirely.

I love ya, FinalFour, but I have to admit it annoys me when people (not a part of that tribe) say that the tribe shouldn't be mad at a depiction of their culture, and that somehow a person not of that group putting on warpaint and a culturally/religiously significant costume actually respects that culture when MEMBERS of that culture say that it does the opposite. :rolleyes:

How can we say that we have the Chief in full regalia to "symbolize what it meant to the Tribes that wore it" when those same tribes are telling us to return it and that they find it offensive for us to use it?

Does anyone else see how ridiculous it is for us to try to tell an ethnic group what should and shouldn't be offensive to them? If the tribe wasn't offended, they wouldn't ask for it back!

(Also, is the "loyalty, honor, and ideals of the University" more important than the loyalty, honor, and ideals of the tribe who's being depicted?)

GOOOOOO ILLINI! Whup Dem Badgers!

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Old Jan 18, 2007, 04:15 PM   #17
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

Forget them and their claims of racism, it's complete nonsense. I can't believe our university has in the past and is currently considering retiring our Chief. It used to drive me nuts seing those jobless losers protest in the quad. I felt like screaming at them. If they re-directed half the energy and effort they put into protesting the Chief, into an attempt to get a real job, they'd be successful. Instead they drag their pathetic, lazy arses to our campus (which 99% have no affiliaton or connection to) to accuse the student body, alumni, and administration of racism.

One phrase: Go Home!
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 04:19 PM   #18
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

Two comments and then I'm done for now, because I don't think I'll change many minds:

1) While the feelings of respect by many fans are sincere, dancing at halftime of a football game is a somehat bizarre way to be honored. Normally, we signal deference during a sporting event by removing our caps or being quiet for a minute, but the way that the Chief is presented now lacks any of those classic signs of respect. If you can't fix that, you'll never convince everyone that the Chief is presented with dignity and the conflict won't go away.

2) The accusations that Chief opponents have paid off the Sioux to do this, while emotionally satisfying, are completely ridiculous.
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 04:24 PM   #19
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

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Originally Posted by neworange
Does anyone else see how ridiculous it is for us to try to tell an ethnic group what should and shouldn't be offensive to them? If the tribe didn't think it was offensive, they wouldn't ask for it back!
No. I believe they are acting like ignorant fools. They are stubborn and refuse to understand why we use the Chief as our symbol. For the most part, (I don't hesitate to estimate 90%) the majority of the protesters have no affiliation to our university. They have no reason to be upset. If they don't like it, DON'T LOOK AT IT!!! DON'T COME TO OUR GAMES. There are plenty of things in life that I dont like. They upset and offend me, but do I piss and moan about it? No, I deal with it, ignore it, and get on with my life.

These protesters are ridiculous. Grow up! Life isn't fair, go home and get on with your life.
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 04:25 PM   #20
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

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Originally Posted by IlliniFan03
Forget them and their claims of racism, it's complete nonsense. I can't believe our university has in the past and is currently considering retiring our Chief. It used to drive me nuts seing those jobless losers protest in the quad. I felt like screaming at them. If they re-directed half the energy and effort they put into protesting the Chief, into an attempt to get a real job, they'd be successful. Instead they drag their pathetic, lazy arses to our campus (which 99% have no affiliaton or connection to) to accuse the student body, alumni, and administration of racism.
Who's "them"? Who are you talking about? This thread opened b/c the tribe who originally owned the regalia want it back, not "pathetic", "lazy arses" without "real jobs." Being the actual tribe depicted by our University, I would think would give them a pretty good affiliation/connection, don't you think? We're not talking about protesters...
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 04:26 PM   #21
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

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Originally Posted by neworange
It annoys me when people say that the tribe shouldn't be mad at a depiction of their culture, and that somehow a person not of that group putting on warpaint and a culturally/religiously significant costume actually respects that culture when MEMBERS of that culture say that it does the opposite. :rolleyes:

Does anyone else see how ridiculous it is for us to try to tell an ethnic group what should and shouldn't be offensive to them? If the tribe didn't think it was offensive, they wouldn't ask for it back!
But it's not their culture, its ours. We aren't using their symbol, we aren't using their name. It's our symbol and our name. The Oglala Sioux tribe were never members of the Illiniwek Federation nor does it seem they were a part of the University of Illinois community ever. It's not their place to say. If they want their costume back, then fine but then lets forget about the fact that it was given to us by THEIR Chief who thought enough of our tradition to give it to us in the first place! And if they succeed in destroying that tradition, we will also forget why we even have to Chief to begin with - to remember that Illiniwek Federation and the Algonquins were destroyed by the Miami and the Iroquois.
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 04:30 PM   #22
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

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Originally Posted by neworange

I love ya, FinalFour, but I have to admit it annoys me when people (not a part of that tribe) say that the tribe shouldn't be mad at a depiction of their culture, and that somehow a person not of that group putting on warpaint and a culturally/religiously significant costume actually respects that culture when MEMBERS of that culture say that it does the opposite. :rolleyes:

How can we say that we have the Chief in full regalia to "symbolize what it meant to the Tribes that wore it" when those same tribes are telling us to return it and that they find it offensive for us to use it?

Does anyone else see how ridiculous it is for us to try to tell an ethnic group what should and shouldn't be offensive to them? If the tribe wasn't offended, they wouldn't ask for it back!
I see your point, neworange, I really do. But what has changed in our depiction of the Chief in the past 20 or so years, since the regalia in question was given to us by MEMBERS of this same tribe? Maybe it just so happens that the former tribe leaders weren't offended and the current ones are. I guess that makes sense.
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 04:30 PM   #23
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

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Originally Posted by neworange
Who's "them"? Who are you talking about? This thread opened b/c the tribe who originally owned the regalia want it back, not "pathetic", "lazy arses" without "real jobs." Being the actual tribe depicted by our University, I would think would give them a pretty good affiliation/connection, don't you think? We're not talking about protesters...
The Oglala aren't the actual tribe being represented. The actual tribe doesn't even exist anymore in the form which we are honoring it.

Protesters suck.
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 04:34 PM   #24
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

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Originally Posted by illini4everjp
But it's not their culture, its ours....If they want their costume back, then fine but then lets forget about the fact that it was given to us by THEIR Chief who thought enough of our tradition to give it to us in the first place! And if they succeed in destroying that tradition, we will also forget why we even have to Chief to begin with - to remember that Illiniwek Federation and the Algonquins were destroyed by the Miami and the Iroquois.
Fair enough, but we ARE using their regalia and depicting Native Americans in a certain way, although admittedly not their particular tribe. And it was given to the University a LONG time ago, times and opinions change. Calling a black person a "negro" was acceptable even to african americans back in the day (MLK said it a lot), but if you tried to do that now, you'd get punched. How come that tribe can't change their mind if they do find it offensive? They're not going through all this trouble just for the hell of it.

And please, is that really you think of when you see the Chief? People like the Chief b/c it's an old tradition that they don't want to change. I seriously doubt you or anyone else is going to be thinking about the Illiniwek Federation and the Algonquins come halftime at the Wisconsin game this Sat. Or any other game. Ever.

Last edited by neworange; Jan 18, 2007 at 04:42 PM.
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 04:41 PM   #25
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Re: Tribe demands return of Illiniwek regalia

And as I said, if they want their costume back then fine, so be it, fantastic, it will solve all the Oglala's problems. However the symbol does represent the Illiniwek Federation as well as the unique culture and ideals of the University students, alumni and friends. If you have a hard time wrapping your hands around that concept, thats fine as well, but the Chief isn't a mascot, he is the symbol of the University and that symbol doesn't cease to exist when you leave Assembly Hall or Memorial Stadium. So if even one person sees the Chief Saturday afternoon and "gets it", thats all the better.
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