From 1926 until 2007, Chief Illiniwek was the official mascot of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2007, after over a decade of protest and contention, the university stopped the official use of the Chief as its representative. The issue is still debated now, over 10 years later.
This project was done by a group of graduate design and informatics students at the University. We worked to research the issue of the mascot itself as well as the greater contexts that surround the debate, expanding into Native American history, cultural understandings, and appropriation in sports imagery as well as opinions of both sides. Our research resulted in an exhibition of work titled Nepantla which took place at the School of Art and Design Bloc Gallery from April 17-20, 2019.