The University of Utah Utes: Working Toward Understanding
A university employee, who asked to remain anonymous, and is Navaho said, “I think it’s a good school, but regarding the mascot and logo, and the day to day stereotypes, it’s hard for me to see.”
“I cannot take my kids to those games,” she said. “Or they will think that’s what our culture is. We are thriving and professionals, we are not an image. I think the kids would think their culture is being made fun of, all that whooping and hollering, and wearing sacred regalia.”
“There has never been an attempt to curb the fans and it is our hope to put some process in place to curb that,” Cuche said. “I am offended by that myself, but this is an opportunity to promote education. We desire the visibility.”
Cuche said the draft MOU being considered seeks to include an Indian advisor to the president, a scholarship program, and to build more of a relationship with the university.
According to Cuche, activists in the 1970s sought to have the name and logo changed, but when they saw the tribal resolution supported the name and logo, they backed off. In his opinion, “this generation has no respect for tribal sovereignty.”
“Central Michigan has an MOU that addresses offensive behavior and the university has said they will address these behaviors in the future. We are behind times in our state and we are having to learn from other tribes.”
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