Eastern Michigan University has become the first university, as far as we know, to regress on the question of the use of American Indian names and mascots for sports purposes.
What value is upheld in bringing back an Indian mascot that the University long, long ago walked away from? The desire of some alumni to recall a past that never really existed?
It must be remembered that the Hurons, or Wyandotte nation, were forcibly removed by the United States to lands in the west at great personal and cultural cost to that community. Now their suffering will be embraced for fun and games by the EMU marching band, all at the request of alums who apparently have no knowledge of this history.
From the article:
It also comes as EMU continues to reach out to alumni who still refer to the teams as Hurons.
“It’s no secret there are still those disenfranchised people from the logo change,” said Daniel Mathis, interim executive director of EMU Alumni Relations. “It still comes up at pretty much anywhere we travel the country. … There are still people who say, ‘I will never give a dollar until they change it back.'”
The Oklahoma Wyandotte Nation’s chief (Billy Friend) also embraces the restoration of the logo. This highlights the complication. The emotional and political pain arising from EMU’s change more than 20 years ago is forgotten, just as the tribe’s history is neglected.
What’s going on here?