YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) - Some students at Eastern Michigan University want school officials to remove logos depicting the profile of an American Indian and the word “Hurons” from marching band uniforms.
The request was made at Tuesday’s Board of Regents meeting in Ypsilanti, the Detroit Free Press reported (https://on.freep.com/1FlibBa ).
The nickname and the school’s mascot were dropped in 1991 after criticism that they were demeaning to Native Americans. The school’s nickname was changed to “Eagles.”
But Eastern Michigan has said the Hurons logo is part of a celebration of the band’s long history. It was returned to the uniforms in 2012 and is beneath a flap and not easily visible.
“While Eastern was one of the first to remove its logo, it is the only university to bring it back,” Chris Sutton, a senior and treasurer of the school’s Native American Student Association, told the board. “You’re teaching future generations this kind of behavior is not only OK, it’s encouraged. You need to remove the logo immediately.”
A mascot contest was sponsored in 1929, and two students submitted the winning name of “Hurons.” The Hurons logo was used for decades, but was changed, in part, after the Michigan Civil Rights Commission recommended that schools drop the use of Native American names, logos and mascots.
Critics say that American Indian mascots are racist and demeaning and that they reinforce stereotypes. Supporters say the mascots are a way to honor Native American history.
The band uniforms also include a block “M” inscribed with the word “Normal.” The school was founded in 1849 as Michigan State Normal College.
“The historic logos from our past … are not being added to any other uniforms,” the school said in a statement. “We proudly remain the Eastern Michigan University Eagles.”
Information from: Detroit Free Press, https://www.freep.com
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