CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A group is recommending that the University of Illinois erect a plaque or monument to commemorate the history of Chief Illiniwek, the mascot who was dropped amid much criticism in 2007.
The Chancellor’s Commission on Native Imagery says the site outside Memorial Stadium, as well as a public retirement, could provide “healing and reconciliation.” The group also recommends regular activities involving the university and Native Americans who consider Illinois to be their ancestral home.
Chancellor Robert Jones says, “We will be making decisions as quickly as we can.”
A student dressed as Chief Illiniwek performed a traditional dance at sporting events, running the entire 100-yard football field. But many people called the portrayal offensive and would not watch. The university stopped using the chief in 2007.