Chief Illiniwek: Understanding the Issues
To some, Chief Illiniwek is an honored symbol of the University of Illinois which should be preserved. To others, he is a race-based sports mascot that had to go.For parts of three decades, opponents demanded that the University of Illinois Board of Trustees retire the Chief. The Board voted to affirm their support of the Chief in 1990, and the Illinois General Assembly gave its backing several years later. Amid continued protest, UI administrators launched a campus-wide dialogue to better understand the conflicting perspectives.Several more years passed until the NCAA ruled in 2006 that certain Native American-based college mascots and symbols were "hostile and abusive" to minorities. The next winter, under the threat of losing the right to host post-season athletic events, trustees voted to retire Chief Illiniwek.
For the sellout crowd at the Assembly Hall in Champaign February 21, the big highlight wasn't Illinois' victory over Michigan, but the last appearance of Chief Illiniwek. The Chief has plenty of critics -- but at the game, supporters showed how much they loved him. AM 580's Jim Meadows reports.
The chair of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees has retired the tradition of Chief Illiniwek. The last halftime dance for the Chief will be Wednesday, February 21st, during the final men's basketball home game of the season. Larry Eppley says he is a fan of the Chief, but his decision was in the university's best interest. AM 580's Jim Meadows talked to him, along with Ted Land from the student-run television channel UI-7.
A recent newspaper report said the University of Illinois had made tentative plans to transfer ownership of the Chief Illiniwek symbol to a group of alumni who had portrayed the Chief. All sides deny that any agreement is in place but confirm that "informal" talks have occurred. The former student quoted in the report, Steve Raquel, remains hopeful that Chief supporters and opponents alike can find a way to see beyond their differences. AM 580's Jeff Bossert spoke with him.
The University of Illinois Board of Trustees votes on a resolution that neither retires nor specifically preserves the controversial symbol, but calls for all sides to come to a consensus. As AM 580's Jim Meadows reports, it will be very difficult to find an outcome that would end such a polarized debate.
With the lack of a vote, many people are beginning to wonder if the status of Chief Illiniwek will ever be completely settled. And now that the TV news crews from Chicago and St. Louis have left the U of I campus in Urbana...students, faculty and staff are now left to deal with an underlying rancor. AM 580's Tom Rogers reports.
UI trustees tabled a resolution to retire the controversial symbol, which some consider a racist mascot. The resolution's author decided to delay a vote until a meeting in July. AM 580's Jim Meadows reports on the decision and the contentious atmosphere at the meeting.
Focus 580 host David Inge interviewed Suzan Shown Harjo, founder and president of the Morning Star Foundation, on Issues Facing Native Peoples today
The University of Illinois Board of Trustees met to hear the report of Trustee Roger Plummer on the Chief Illiniwek Dialogue. WILL-AM aired the meeting live from 11 am to noon.
AM 580's Dave Dickey examines generational differences in the issue of support for Chief Illiniwek
The University of Illinois Board of Trustees met in open session at Foellenger Auditorium to respond to the University's Dialogue on Chief Illiniwek.
WILL-TV's Talking Point host Amy Gadja moderated a panel of pro- and anti-Chief advocates following broadcast of the documentary The Chief.
Judge Louis B. Garippo presents his report to the Board of Trustees on the Dialogue on Chief Illiniwek.
Focus 580 producer Jack Brighton interviewed Chief Illiniwek supporters Roger Huddleston, Jean Edwards, and Julie Herman on the making of their documentary The Chief
AM 580's Dave Dickey reports on the April 14th Intake Session on Chief Illiniwek, held at Foellinger Audiorium (aired April 15, 2000).
April 14th, 2000 - Judge Louis Garippo presided over a Public Intake Session at Foellinger Auditorium.
Focus 580 host David Inge interviewed Clyde Bellecourt, Founder and Director of the American Indian Movement, on the topic of Indian Mascots in Sports.
Tim Giago, publisher, Indian Country Today, and Charlene Teters, Native American graduate student at the University of Illinois
Brenda Farnell, professor of anthropology, University of Illinois
John Mamminga, Ned Swanson, and Stephanie Tonies, members of Students for Chief Illiniwek. Host: Jack Brighton
May 5, 1997 - Focus 580 producer Jack Brighton interviewed Jay Rosenstein, producer of the documentary In Whose Honor?
February 26, 1990 - Focus 580 host David Inge interviewed Vernon Bellecourt, leader of the American Indian Movement, about Native American Rights and Indian Images in Sports