Oglala Sioux Tribe welcomes end of 'Chief' mascot
The executive committee of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota welcomed the University of Illinois' decision to retire the controversial "Chief Illiniwek" mascot.

The committee had written the school last month, complaining that the mascot was derogatory to Native people. The school had previously cited the tribe's involvement -- Frank Fools Crow, a Lakota elder, sold the clothes originally worn by mascot -- in defense of the "Chief."

The school said it had already returned some of the eagle feathers. Mel Lone Hill, Fools Crow's grandson, said the regalia belongs to him. "I want to thank them for finally seeing the light," Lone Hill told The Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

With the end of the mascot, Illinois is no longer on NCAA's list of schools with hostile and abusive mascots. The school would have been barred from hosting post-season tournaments and displaying Indian imagery at playoffs.

Get the Story:
Illini retire mascot after tribe complains (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 2/17)
Tribe commends decision to retire mascot (AP 2/17)

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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