Oglala Sioux Tribe denounces 'Chief Illiniwek'
The Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota stepped into the debate over the controversial "Chief Illiniwek" mascot of the University of Illinois.

The tribe passed a resolution denouncing the mascot as disparaging to Native people. "The antics of persons playing 'Chief Illiniwek' perpetuate a degrading racial stereotype that reflects negatively on all American Indian people," the resolution states.

As a result, the tribe and the descendants of Lakota Chief Frank Fools Crow are for the return of the regalia and feathers that were presented to the school in 1982. The university paid $3,500 for the moccasins, blanket, peace pipe pouch, breastplate and war bonnet with 90 eagle feathers, The Chicago Tribune reported.

Supporters of the mascot have cited the tribe's involvement as proof that the "Chief" is not offensive to Native people. Opponents say the tribe's resolution gives them a stronger case.

The University of Illinois is on NCAA's list of schools with "hostile and abusive" mascots. The school won't be allowed to host post-season tournaments or display Indian imagery during playoffs.

Get the Story:
Tribal resolution decries mascot (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 1/19)
Sioux to Illini: Return regalia (The Chicago Tribune 1/19)
pwday
Undressing the Chief (The Daily Illini 1/19)
Tribe demands Chief Illiniwek regalia (AP 1/19)

NCAA Update:
Status of Indian Mascot Policy (April 28, 2006)

NCAA Executive Committee Decision:
Native American Mascot Appeals Decisions (April 28, 2006)

NCAA Policy on Indian Mascots:
NCAA Executive Committee Issues Guidelines for Use of Native American Mascots at Championship Events (August 5, 2005)

Relevant Links:
Chief Illiniwek, University of Illinois - http://www.uiuc.edu/dialogue/index.html
Retire the Chief - http://www.retirethechief.org

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