Breaking News at this hour...
A press conference will be held on Thursday, 1/18/07, at 10:00 AM, in
the Conference Room at the Native American House, 1204 W. Nevada Street,
January 18, 2007
RESOLUTION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE OGLALA SIOUX TRIBE
DEMANDING RETURN OF LAKOTA REGALIA USED IN PERFORMANCE OF "CHIEF
ILLINIWEK," AND IN SUPPORT OF REQUEST BY PEORIA TRIBE OF OKLAHOMA THAT
THE USE OF THE MASCOT CEASE.
On January 17, 2007, the Executive Committee of the Oglala Sioux Tribal
Nation submitted a resolution to the University of Illinois President
and Board of Trustees and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Chancellor demanding the return of the Lakota regalia used in the
portrayal of the school's mascot to the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
The official resolution refers to the "theatrics" and "antics" of "chief
illiniwek" and notes that the "Oglala Lakota regalia is being misused to
represent 'Chief Illiniwek'" and needs to be returned to the rightful
owners of the tribe. The resolution further states that "Chief
Illiniwek" not only "perpetuates a degrading racial stereotype," but
violates the integrity of traditional Illinois tribes including the
"Kaskaskia, Peroria, Piankeshuw, and Wea nations."
Moreover, the Resolution by the Oglala Sioux supports the Peoria Tribe
of Indians of Oklahoma "in its request that the University of Illinois
recognize the demeaning nature of the characterization of 'Chief
Illiniwek' and cease use of this mascot." In 2000, the Peoria Tribe of
Indians of Oklahoma passed a resolution "Request to University of
Illinois to Cease Use of Chief llliniwek as Mascot."
Given the increasing concerns regarding the experiences of racism and
oppression facing American Indian nations and communities, the faculty
of American Indian Studies (AIS) and the staff at the Native American
House (NAH) at the University of Illinois welcome the Resolution of the
Executive Committee of the Oglala Sioux Tribe that disapproves of the
use of the Lakota Regalia in "Chief Illiniwek" performances and calls
for cessation of the mascot.
Further, AIS/NAH faculty and staff call upon the Board of Trustees,
President White, and UIUC administration to respond to this resolution
with due respect and action. There can be no misreading of the Oglala
Sioux Resolution-those to whom the Lakota regalia belongs and whom the
Board of Trustees claims to be honoring have clearly requested that the
performance and charade of "chief illiniwek" end.
To obtain a copy of the Resolution of the Executive Committee of the
Oglala Sioux Tribe, please visit the Native American House website at
Wanda Pillow, director, Native American House/American Indian Studies,
John McKinn, assistant director, American Indian Studies, 217-265-9870