A proposal for the Chief

If Chief Illiniwek is such a demeaning representation of “All American Indian People” why not propose changes that would reflect a true representation of these peoples? There are other more serious issues that directly affect the lives of Native Americans in terms of health and standards of living. How will getting rid of the Chief improve the lives of Native Americans? If the Chief goes away then an important platform for bringing awareness to the public will be lost. Rather than get rid of the one conduit for bringing these issues people’s attention, why not use it as an opportunity to educate people? Here’s a crazy idea: Memorial Stadium is undergoing a renovation, what if a tiny portion of floor space could be devoted to the tribes the Chief is supposed to be honoring? Something like a mini-museum. Tens of thousands of people pass through that stadium every year. It would be a great opportunity to educate the public to help dispel racial stereotypes.

David Schlesinger

University employee