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Department of History supports removal of the Chief

November 21, 2008

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
309 Gregory Hall, MC-466
801 South Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801

November 21, 2008

Chancellor Richard Herman
Office of the Chancellor
Swanlund Bldg
601 E. John

Dear Chancellor Herman,

I write to express the Department of History's solidarity with the November 15th statement issues by the Native American House and American Indian Studies Program with respect to recent Chief "revival" activities on campus. History is on record as opposing the Chief "as demeaning to Native Americans and historically inaccurate, creating unnecessary difficulties in the recruitment of Native American faculty and students" (from our 1998 resolution). We have also resolved that "continuing the practice of dressing up students as Native Americans so that they might perform fanciful renditions of native dances in public humiliates American Indian members of our community and demeans their cultures" (from our 2005 resolution).

We know that you are well aware of History's position. Our concern now is that Professor Robert Warrior and his colleagues in the Native American House and American Indian Studies Program know that History at Illinois stands behind their outrage, supports their protest and joins them in calling on the University administration to put the Chief, in all its forms and functions, behind us once and for all.


Antoinette Burton
Professor and Chair
Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies