Column: It's finally the end for 'Chief llliniwek'

"Sometime Wednesday night at the University of Illinois' Assembly Hall, hundreds of folks will linger around the basketball court awaiting what will be a rather historic halftime show at the men's basketball team's final home game of the regular season.

Chief Illiniwek will dance his last dance.

It surely will be greeted by the mournful glances of thousands of frat boys in face paint, cool sun shades, fuzzy orange wigs, sweaty orange bandanas, ball caps, T-shirts and headbands; they will stand shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm, rocking and swaying to solemn drum beats, not quite sure why any of this should have to end.

Good gosh, I can't begin to express how glad I am that we'll never see this nonsense anymore. Every time I've attended an Illinois game and seen the 'chief' do his so-called tribal dance around the court, I felt completely and utterly creeped out. People kept telling me this kid in the grease paint without a drop of American Indian blood in his veins was performing a tribute to the Illiniwek tribe. I kept thinking it never felt right in the same way it never felt right to hear Pat Boone sing 'Tutti Frutti.'"

Get the Story:
Bryan Burwell: Chief llliniwek is leaving us, and not one day too soon (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch 2/20)

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

Related Stories:
Tim Giago: 'Chief Illiniwek' does his last dance (2/19)
Oglala Sioux Tribe welcomes end of 'Chief' mascot (2/19)
University retires 'Chief Illiniwek' performances (2/16)
Opponents of 'Chief Illiniwek' rally on campus (2/2)
No charges over threat to Indian student in Illinois (1/30)
Natives thriving off-reserve in Western Canada (1/26)
Editorial: It's time to put 'Chief Illiniwek' to rest (1/24)
School says 'Chief Illiniwek' headdress was returned (1/22)
Oglala Sioux Tribe denounces 'Chief Illiniwek' (1/19)
Oglala Sioux Tribe seeks return of 'Chief' regalia (1/18)
Native students threatened over 'Chief Illiniwek' (1/17)
Editorial: Go to court to protect 'Chief Illiniwek' (11/20)
No action taken on 'Chief Illiniwek' in Illinois (11/10)
Column: It's time to get rid of 'Chief Illiniwek' (10/12)
Illinois court rejects lawsuit againt Chief Illiniwek (09/20)
University said to drop 'Chief Illiniwek' as mascot (08/31)
School files another appeal to save Chief Illiniwek (02/01)
Editorial: 'Chief Illiniwek' a sacred symbol (11/21)
NCAA allows 'Illini' but rejects 'Chief Illiniwek' (11/14)
Column: Tribes have right to oppose 'Chief Illiniwek' (09/15)
University of Illinois trustee blasts NCAA policy (08/17)
Illiniwek 'chiefs' say they are proud of tradition (04/22)
Drunk Student: Chief Illiniwek is not offensive to Natives (04/07)
Native lawyers file lawsuit against Chief Illiniwek (03/16)
Chief Illiniwek relegated to sidelines for games (3/11)
Column: Chief Illiniwek mascot inappropriate (12/02)
Opinion: Chief Illiniwek will take his last dance soon (09/15)
University board to discuss fate of Chief Illiniwek (06/17)
Anti-Chief Illiniwek activists stage sit-in at college (04/19)
Students support keeping Chief Illiniwek mascot (03/19)
School to poll students on Chief Illiniwek mascot (03/11)
Chief Illiniwek battle an especially harsh one (12/16)
Alumni support didn't drop after mascot change (2/20)
Editorial: Stop 'pussyfooting' on Chief Illiniwek (11/17)
Commentary: Don't get rid of Chief Illiniwek (11/13)
'Chief' school opens Native American House (02/07)
Ill. mascot foes awarded $5,000 (07/23)
Ex-school official faces suit in mascot case (5/29)
Students vote to retire Illiniwek (5/3)
Retain or retire, but no apology for 'Chief' (3/14)
Chief Illiniwek report released (3/13)
Editorial: Rethink mascot opposition (3/7)
Illiniwek foes win round in court (4/6)
Church gives money to Chief Illiniwek foes (2/8)